PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Hillsboro police officer who shot and killed a man in October of 2019 has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office in a Monday statement.
The letter, sent from the DA’s office to the police department, stated that the actions of Officer Bobby Voth were, “clearly justified under Oregon law and likely saved the life of Mr. Osornio-Ambriz.”
“I think there will be a lot of those questions as far as why, but we’ve been able to answer them as best as we can through this investigation,” said Hillsboro Police Sergeant Eric Bunday.
Just after 6 p.m. Flugencio Osornio-Ambriz drove into the precinct parking lot and was immediately followed by Livengood. According to investigators, Osornio-Ambriz was concerned about being followed and caught the attention of two “civilian employees” who were leaving the police station. Osornio-Ambriz was described as appearing “frightened and concerned.”
Those employees alerted Voth of the situation and he stepped in to help sort it out. That’s when Voth noticed that Livengood had a handgun tucked in the crook of his arm, “with the exposed hammer pulled back (i.e. ready to be fired),” according to the DA’s findings.
Voth told Osornio-Ambriz to move farther away, but when he did, Livengood followed. Despite Voth’s commands to stop, he continued. Voth even grabbed and held onto Livengood while ordering him to drop the gun, but he refused.
A struggle ensued and when Livengood broke free of Voth’s grasp he moved toward Osornio-Ambriz while still holding the gun. That’s when Voth fired twice and killed Livengood.
Livengood died at the scene. Officers found his gun was, “fully loaded with a bullet in the chamber.”
When investigators later took down Osornio-Ambriz’s statement, he told them that Livengood had been following him since he left his job in Camas, Washington earlier that day. Osornio-Ambriz didn’t know Livengood, or why he was being followed.
“Through the roughly 60-minute drive, Livengood tailgated Osornio-Ambriz and made aggressive lane changes to stay directly behind his vehicle,” read the DA’s statement about the case findings. At one point, Osornio-Ambriz even stopped for gas, during which Livengood stopped, waited, and then continued to follow him. Out of concern for his safety, Osornio-Ambriz drove to a nearby police station.
“The victim in this case did everything right,” said Bunday. “He recognized that he was being followed, he pulled in to a place of safety here at the police department instead of going home. He made a good choice in doing that and we are glad he did.”
Livengood followed Osornio-Ambriz for 42 miles on Oct. 21.
“We are very thankful that the victim was unharmed in this case, and our condolences go out to the Livengood family,” said Bunday.
During the investigation, detectives found that Livengood was struggling with PTSD related to a car accident and had recently experienced the death of multiple family members. Before leaving his home to go to the grocery store that day, he told his girlfriend that he thought it was almost time for him to go home, which she interpreted as going to see God, according to court documents. He had also made other statements that could have been interpreted as delusional, according to investigators, including expressing the belief that “red cars contain evil.”
Osornio-Ambriz had been driving a red Ford Explorer at the time when Livengood started following him.
KOIN 6 News received the following statement from Livengood’s uncle, Roger Livengood:
“The behavior associated with the police report is something that is baffling and maybe we will never know the answer to, something the family struggles with because that wasn’t his nature or character.”
Roger described his nephew as “fun-loving and family oriented.” He also said that the Livengood family would like to see the body camera video to get some closure.
The shooting was investigated by the Washington County Major Crimes Team. A Grand Jury did not review the case since there was no evidence of a crime. The investigation into the officer-involved shooting found that Voth was justified in his use of deadly force. He has been promoted to Sergeant since this incident.
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