EUGENE, Ore. – The man shot and killed by a police officer Monday was a military veteran struggling with mental health issues, neighbors and family told KVAL News.
Police have not yet released the man’s identity, citing efforts to notify his family out of state.
Family and neighbors in the Bethel neighborhood of West Eugene said the man suffered from post-traumatic stress, for which he sought treatment from the Veterans Administration.
Eugene Police initially said they would be able to release more information about the shooting Tuesday afternoon. Any new official release of information won’t likely happen until Wednesday, police later said.
Under state law, the shooting is under investigation by Lane County’s Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team.
The results of that investigation will be forwarded to the district attorney for review.
A final report could take some time: the report on a deadly November 2013 officer-involved shooting outside Churchill High School came almost a month after the incident.
Neighbors of the man on Devos Street are anxious to learn more.
“I want to know answers. I want to know the truth. I want to know: was he really a threat?” said neighbor Reina Elam. “Answers like that would be really nice to get so that we can be at ease and comfort knowing that our cops did do something – did do the right thing.”
Eugene Police said officers were responding to a reportedly suicidal subject on Devos Street around 5 o’clock Monday night when an officer took that fatal shot.
“The roommate is saying, ‘I should have just grabbed him and pulled him back in’ because he was just saying, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. Get off, off my property. Get off my property’,” said an aunt of the deceased who asked not to be identified by name while family members are notified.
Those who knew the man say the veteran returned home from combat with injuries.
“Unfortunately he suffered the worst tragedy that anyone can think of. It’s very sad,” neighbor Norma Roque said. “I just hope that each of us can process this tragedy and focus on our families because our families are number one. We have to help each other best we can.”
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