Editor’s note: A earlier story included a claim from a neighbor who said police had asked him to delete video from a security camera of the shooting. Oregon State Police told KOIN 6 News on Monday, Feb. 14 they had followed up with the neighbor, who police said admitted to telling lying about the initial claim.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The driver of a Mercedes was shot to death by 3 Salem police officers who confronted him in a field after he sped off from a traffic stop, the Oregon State Police said.
The incident began around 12:30 a.m. Sunday when police tried to pull the gold 1995 Mercedes over in Northeast Salem. The driver, later publicly identified as Richard Allen Meyers, took off and drove to Northgate Park in the 3200 block of Northgate Avenue Northeast.
Meyers, OSP said, drove into a gully at the park and then onto a field. More Salem police responded, a confrontation ensued and 3 officers opened fire. The 40-year-old was rushed to Salem Hospital for treatment but later died.
Five police cars were seen in the field, including one that appeared to have hit Meyers’ car head-on
Multiple bullet holes are visible in the side of the car. Neighbors told KOIN 6 News they heard 5 to 8 shots.
Inside the car was a pitbull that was also hurt in the incident, authorities said. The dog was taken to a vet for emergency treatment, but Meyers’ family decided to put the dog down.
Carl, a homeowner in the area who only wanted his first name used, told KOIN 6 News his surveillance camera captured video of the car but not the shooting.
“You can see the car coming in from that side and then spinning around and all these cops just swarmed on in, and that’s probably about when the gunshots were heard,” Carl said. “My cameras don’t have mics on them so you don’t even hear the gunshots.”
After receiving a claim from a neighbor, KOIN 6 News asked both Salem PD and OSP why someone would be told to delete footage after it’s shared with investigators and if that is standard protocol. On Monday, Feb. 14, state police responded to KOIN 6 News’ questions and said investigators followed up with the neighbor, who they said admitted to lying about the claim being asked to delete the video by investigators.
Four officers are now on paid leave, standard procedure in these incidents.
The officers involved in the incident were identified as: Chad Treichler, Griffin McDowell, Jonathan McNicols and David Baker.
The investigation remains active and ongoing.