PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Marion County grand jury has found Salem police justified in using deadly force after shooting and killing a man earlier this month while investigating a stolen vehicle case.

According to authorities, around 6 p.m. April 11, police responded to a call of an occupied stolen vehicle in a parking lot behind Johnny’s Bar and Grill on 17th and Center Street in Salem.

The caller reported seeing a friend’s stolen Mazda Miata with two men, now identified as Matthew Calkins and Christopher Esman, inside. The caller said the men got out of the Mazda then got inside a Yukon parked next to it.

On the scene, officers asked the men to get out of the Yukon, which was driven by 28-year-old Tayler Osborne. According to Marion County District Attorney’s Office, as police made sure the car was clear, they found what they suspected was methamphetamine in the driver’s seat.

Police also reportedly saw what appeared to be a rifle between the driver’s seat and center console along with a Glock pistol under the passenger seat and an ammunition magazine.

Calkins told police that Osborne dealt drugs from the Yukon and had large amounts of meth and oxycodone pills and a 9mm pistol in the car. He also told police that Osborne smoked meth in the car before police arrived.

Authorities said Osborne denied he knew about the suspected meth and gave officers permission to remove the bag from the car, but didn’t allow them to search the rest of the car.

Police gave citations to Calkins and Enson, who were then released from the scene. Meanwhile, police arrested Osborne.

According to Marion County District Attorney’s Office, while Osborne was handcuffed in the back of a police car, he complained he was thirsty. Officer Susan Slivkoff opened the door to offer him water when she noticed his hands were no longer cuffed behind his back and he had slipped them in front of his body.

Authorities said Slivkoff began to re-handcuff him outside of the police car, but once one of his hands was released, he pushed Slivkoff and started to run towards the Yukon.

Another officer, Corporal Josh Buker, was parked nearby and ran to assist Slivkoff after he heard yelling.

Officials said Osborne fought with the officers — punching Buker in the face then grabbing Buker’s taser and shocked both Buker and Slivkoff.

Buker fired two gunshots at Osborne, believing he “posed an imminent deadly threat,” Marion County District Attorney’s Office said.

Buker and Slivkoff held him at gunpoint as other officers were called to the scene. First responders provided first aid and transported Osborne to Salem Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

On April 12, 2022, an autopsy found Osborne was shot in the chest and in his left shoulder. Officials said both gunshots passed through his left lung and were fatal.

The Marion County Grand Jury unanimously ruled the use of deadly force by Buker was justified.

Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson said “this incident highlights the dangerous work our law enforcement officers do every day. I am grateful they returned home to their families that night. The grand jury should be commended for their diligent and careful review of all the evidence. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Tayler Osborne. Nobody wants these outcomes.”