PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Marion County grand jury unanimously found three Salem Police Department officers were justified in the shooting death of a teenager in July, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Salem Police Department reportedly had a warrant for 16-year-old Robert Brown’s arrest after suspecting he was responsible for a downtown Salem shooting on June 13 and a March 18 Salem Center Mall shooting.
According to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, Salem police had been monitoring Brown’s location in the days leading up to July 13, when Brown was shot and killed.
Authorities said they had reason to believe Brown was armed and likely a danger to the public and responding officers the night of Brown’s death.
The DA’s office said on the night of his death, all responding authorities in the operation were wearing clearly marked gear including badges and the word “POLICE” displayed. Authorities staged a location near a house located at 4942 Oak Park Drive NE in Salem where officials said Brown was associated with the resident and was seen at the house throughout the day.
Shortly after 5 p.m., officers said they saw Brown and three other people in a parked red car in front of the house, with Brown reportedly sitting behind the driver.
Authorities in three different unmarked cars surrounded the suspect vehicle and deployed two “flash bangs”, the DA’s office said.
Police said Brown then brandished a loaded pistol and fired at officers, leading three officers to return fire and Brown repeatedly shooting back, the DA’s office said. Neighbors reportedly could reportedly hear the officer’s commands and hear them identify themselves as law enforcement, officials pointed out.
The DA’s office said in the undercover police car in front of the suspect car, was Salem Police officer Brian Frazzini who fired his rifle 11 times at Brown from the front passenger seat.
The DA’s office also reports that Corporal Waite, who drove that same undercover vehicle, fired his rifle three times at Brown through the front windshield of the driver’s seat. Detective Erik Hernandez, who was in the same car, reportedly sought cover at the back of the vehicle but was struck in the ankle by a bullet fired by Brown, officials said. The DA’s office noted he is expected to make a full recovery.
In the car blocking the suspect vehicle from the side, officials said, officer Ryan Morris fired his pistol six times toward Brown.
In the car pinning the back of the suspect car, Captain Luke Barr of the Salem Fire Department, who is cross-trained with (SWAT) as their assigned medic, got out of the car to cover other officers, but was struck by shrapnel in the face, arms and torso, law enforcement said. Authorities said Barr stayed on scene despite his injuries to provide aid to Detective Hernandez and Brown. The DA’s office reports Barr will make a full recovery.
Officials said after the shooting, Brown was injured and unresponsive. Medics were called; however, Brown was declared dead on the scene. Officials determined his cause of death was from gunshot wounds in his head and chest.
Based on shell casings at the scene, the DA’s office said, Brown shot his pistol at officers six times. Officials noted the entire incident lasted about 12 seconds.
The jury also indicted 20-year-old Anthony Medeiros for his conduct at the incident, authorities said, and is being held at the Marion County Jail for unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and two probation violations for third-degree assault from a previous conviction.
Medeiros is set to be arraigned on Monday. The DA’s office said no further information is available for Medeiros’ case.
Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson stated:
“My gratitude to the grand jury for their thorough and thoughtful assessment of this dynamic and complex incident is eclipsed only by my admiration for the bravery and heroism displayed by these Salem Police Officers, the Salem Fire Captain and the entire SWAT team. Our community is safer because of their selfless willingness to stand in harm’s way on behalf of us all. I am relieved that no officers lost their lives in this incident-an incident that but for the quick thinking and professional training of the Salem Police Department, could have ended much more tragically. My sympathies are extended to the family of Robert Brown. Nobody wanted this outcome for him.”