Happy Valley traffic stop turns deadly; Hillsboro man dies

Clackamas County

Nathan Thomas Honeycutt was 26

HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN) — A traffic stop turned deadly in Happy Valley when the driver pulled out a gun during a struggle with deputies and was shot to death, the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office said.

Around 2 a.m., Nathan Thomas Honeycutt was driving a Ford Ranger pickup without license plates around SE 145th and King, officials said. He didn’t stop to the lights-and-siren from the deputies and drove down a road with no outlet.

Authorities set up spike strips, which deflated 3 tires on the pickup as Honeycutt drove back from the dead end. But he kept going.

Deputies stopped the pickup at SE 145th and Ridgecrest and tried to take him into custody. He “resisted,” officials said, and pulled out a revolver. One of the responding deputies shot him.

Despite emergency efforts, Honeycutt died at the scene. The Hillsboro resident was 26.

The white Ford Ranger was later determined to be stolen, officials said.

The 3 deputies involved in the incident — Jansen Bento, Sam Tharpe and Matt Roach — are on administrative leave during the investigation, standard protocol in these situations. One of them suffered a slightly injured hand, officials said.

The investigation is being led by the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with surveillance video or who saw a white Ford Ranger pickup in that area between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. to contact the investigators.

‘Heard a lot of shooting’

Sophia Covoci and her husband heard the gunshots in back of their home in what they described as a generally quiet and peaceful neighborhood.

The couple immigrated from Romania more than 20 years ago and said nothing like this has ever happened around them.

Their daughter, Simona Blada, said her father “heard a lot of shooting.” She said he heard 4 shots and then the police and fire responders.

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