PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The mother of Jacob Macduff wants to know the details surrounding the death of her son at the hands of the Tigard police and hired an attorney who filed a tort claim to help get some answers.
The tort claim means they may have reason to file a lawsuit for wrongful death, but they need investigators to release the facts surrounding the case that began on the night of January 6, 2021, attorney Scott Levin told KOIN 6 News.
Macduff, who was 26, was fatally shot by officers after what police said was a domestic violence call. But his mother and Levin said Macduff was experiencing a mental health crisis.
“Jacob was in a mental health crisis. He was punching holes in the walls of the apartment and when the police responded he got scared and that’s when he ran down to his truck,” Levin said. “That’s my understanding.”
Because the car he was in was registered to his mother, Dr. Maria Macduff, police called her in the midst of the situation to ask for permission to break a window.
“She said, ‘Yeah, please go ahead but be gentle with my son. He has mental health issues,'” Levin told KOIN 6 News. “And the next contact she had with police he had been killed.”
The only information provided to the family is what is listed on the death certificate — which lists “homicide” for “manner of death,” and “multiple gunshot wounds of torso” as “immediate cause of death,” along with “shot by police during confrontation.”
“The police aren’t telling the family anything,” Levin said.
In a statement, Tigard PD spokesperson Kelsey Anderson said the case is still with the Washington County DA’s Office.
“As such, members of the Tigard Police Department have not been able to review any of the facts of the case collected by the Washington County Major Crimes Team. We will have the opportunity to do so once the investigation is complete.”
Anderson added Tigard police can’t comment until the investigation is completed.
A spokesperson for the Washington County DA’s Office said they had no comment since the investigation is still in progress.
Levin said “(The investigators are) not being evasive. I think they’re just doing their job and doing their investigation. But it’s been over 90 days now and at this point the family would like to get some information.”
“We simply do not know how it went from the point of someone in a mental health crisis, ‘hey can I break the window on your truck,’ to him being killed,” Levin said.
Police said Macduff had a knife.
“My understanding is that knife was like a pocket knife that would fit in the palm of your hand, like it would be on your key chain, like a Swiss Army knife with the scissors,” Levin said.
The officer who shot Macduff was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. He was eventually reinstated, but that officer resigned last week.
Levin said Macduff “was trying to figure out his life. He was 26 at the time and was still kind of starting his journey.”