DA: Shooting of Cascadia man justified

By Scott Swanson
Of The New Era/Lebanon Local

Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny last week announced in a letter to the Oregon State Police that a review of the March 21 fatal shooting of a Cascadia man by Sheriff’s deputies was found to be justified.

In the May 31 letter, Marteeny said that after a review of “voluminous reports, pictures, interview transcripts, video and audio recordings, drone footage and digital scanning of the area” on High Deck Road in Cascadia, where the shooting occurred, deputies Derek Klein and Jacob Randall were “legally justified to respond with deadly force” in shooting Noah David Colgrove during an armed confrontation.

In his letter, Marteeny presented a detailed narrative of the events that led to the shooting.

An aerial photo shows the location in which Noah Colgrove was shot in a standoff with Sheriff’s deputies. Photo courtesy of the Linn County District Attorney’s Office

He said that at approximately 12:45 p.m. the Linn County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Colgrove, 30, was harassing the caller’s boyfriend at the High Deck Road location. The caller reported that no assault had occurred yet, but “things would escalate if deputies didn’t respond soon,” Marteeny said.

Colgrove, he said, had active warrants for first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm, strangulation, fourth-degree assault, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and second-degree criminal trespass. The man who was being harassed was the victim of the robbery, who lived in the area, Marteeny said.

Deputies were “familiar” with both the area and with Colgrove, who had a reputation for running from police, Marteeny said.

“Previous attempts to arrest Mr. Colgrove had been unsuccessful,” he said, adding that Colgrove was known to use a blue motorcycle to escape law enforcement officials.

“LCSO had received numerous calls for service to this area, including the recent robbery referenced above,” Marteeny wrote. “The property at issue was at the top of a hill. It was strewn with multiple RV trailers, cars, pickup trucks, and boats in various stages of disrepair and disassembly. Garbage and vehicle parts could be found throughout the property. Blackberry bushes and brush were abundant and ran throughout. This all presented many difficulties for deputies responding to this incident.”

Due to the seriousness of the situation, the District Attorney said, four deputies responded: Klein and Randall, along with Marion Kaftanchikov and Dillon Spangler. All drove separate LCSO vehicles and all were wearing uniforms with badges and identification “prominently displayed,” Marteeny said.

The four deputies drove to the top of the hill and exited their vehicles, spotting Colgrove’s motorcycle and motorcycle helmet at the side of the driveway leading through the compound of trailers.

They did not see Colgrove immediately, he said.

Shortly after arriving, Spangler heard a slamming noise and saw Colgrove moving rapidly through the brush at a distance from the deputies, Marteeny said. Spangler yelled to him by name and told him he was under arrest.

Colgrove continued running away. The deputies lost sight of him but kept looking for him among the vehicles, trailers and brush.

After a few minutes of searching, Spangler again spotted Mr. Colgrove about 150 feet away, near a trailer, Marteeny wrote.

“Deputy Spangler ordered him to “stop,” “come here,” and again told him “you’re under arrest.”

This 9 mm pistol was in Noah Colgrove’s hand when he was shot, according to the Linn County District Attorney’s report. Photo courtesy of Linn County District Attorney’s Office

Marteeny said Colgrove turned towards Spangler, “pointing something held in his hand towards Deputy Spangler.”

As Colgrove turned away, Spangler was able to identify that Colgrove had been pointing a gun towards him, Marteeny said.

“Deputy Spangler yelled “stop,” “drop it,” and “Noah, drop that gun or you’re gonna get shot,” the District Attorney said.

Colgrove disobeyed those orders and moved out of sight among the brush and debris, and moved towards a building that appeared to be a house, surrounded by trees, debris, and brush, Marteeny said.

Colgrove then worked his way out of the upper portion of the house onto the roof of a lean-to structure that was attached to the back of the house.

While he was on top of the lean-to structure, Klein and Kaftanchikov both saw an object in Colgrove’s hand that Klein recognized as a handgun, which, Marteeny said, later turned out to be a Glock 45 9 mm, that had been reported stolen out of Sweet Home, with a modified laser sight, one round in the chamber and multiple rounds in the magazine.

Marteeny noted that investigators later found a .22 caliber long rifle with a laser sight and 50-capacity magazines on a couch inside the residence, along with a handgun carrier.

Deputies again yelled at Colgrove to stop and to drop the gun, but he jumped off the roof of the lean-to and landed on the ground, got up, briefly pointed his handgun at Klein and ran back into the house through the front door, Marteeny said.

“Commands to ‘drop the gun’ and ‘give it up’ were continually given,” Marteeny said.

Shortly thereafter, Colgrove again exited the house, out of the front door, running across and off the porch, near where Klein was situated.

Klein gave chase, followed by Randall. Colgrove still had the handgun in his hand. Deputies commanded him to drop the gun multiple times.

“Mr. Colgrove reached his gun-wielding hand back across him, pointing it towards the pursuing deputies while Mr. Colgrove was running away from them,” Marteeny wrote. “Seeing this, Deputy Klein fired one shot at Mr. Colgrove. Mr. Colgrove fell to the ground retaining his gun in his hand.

File photo

“After landing, Mr. Colgrove immediately leaned up from his back and continued pointing his gun in the direction of the deputies,” Marteeny wrote, adding that Colgrove’s ex-girlfriend, who was an eyewitness, confirmed that. He noted that she was the alleged victim in Colgrove’s strangulation warrant.

“Deputies Klein and Randall, then at very close range, concurrently fired a rapid and continuous volley of rounds in Mr. Colgrove’s direction until he ceased to present a deadly threat towards them.”

Klein fired six rounds and Randall fired five, Marteeny said. Some hit the ground but autopsy results indicated that Colgrove was hit in the chest, neck, left hip/buttock and in the hand.

Deputies approached Colgrove, took his gun away, and immediately began administering first aid, Marteeny said.

“Mr. Colgrove ultimately succumbed to his injuries.”

Marteeny said that, from his review of the evidence, he concluded that “Mr. Colgrove presented repeated, multiple threats of deadly violence against deputies. His actions and choices were erratic and abrupt.”

Colgrove was attempting to escape arrest, he noted, and “every time Mr. Colgrove pointed a gun in the direction of deputies, he presented a threat of imminent deadly force against them.”

He noted that “multiple people who heard the event unfold recalled hearing multiple commands to ‘stop’ and ‘drop the gun.'”

Colgrove may have been acting under the influence of methamphetamine, which was found on his person and “present in his system” during an autopsy.

Colgrove, he said, “refused to comply with all orders” and “criminally threatened to use his gun against deputies” who were legally justified to respond with deadly force.”

Photo courtesy of Linn County District Attorney’s Office

Witnesses, he said, told investigators thatColgrove continued to present a deadly threat to the deputies even when on the ground.

“I find that the deputies were justified in their use of deadly force and that they did so in response to a continued deadly threat,” Marteeny concluded.

Sheriff Michelle Duncan said the deputies “carried out their duties with courage and professionalism” in the incident.

“They gave Colgrove numerous warnings to drop the gun and comply. Colgrove dictated the outcome by pointing a gun and threatening our deputies’ lives.

“I am thankful our deputies were uninjured and I fully support the actions they were forced to take. When you point guns at law enforcement, this is the risk you take.”