Officers’ use of force justified in MarionCo deadly kidnapping


A Marion County grand jury also indicted Kenneth William Peden III on multiple charges, including 1st-degree murder

Top left: Kenneth Peden III; Background: Law enforcement blocking Highway 214 near Silverton on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, following the shootout. (Credit: Marion County Sheriff’s Office/KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A grand jury in Marion County has found two police officers and a deputy were justified in their use of force against a man accused of kidnapping and fatally shooting a teen last week.

Kenneth William Peden III was indicted Thursday on several charges, including first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Molly “Ollie” Taylor and the attempted murders of Arik Reed and four law enforcement officers.

Oregon State Police said the incident began when officers responded to a disturbance in the 1000 block of Depot Court in Gervais and found 22-year-old Reed at the scene with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

Officers said they learned that Peden had kidnapped Taylor after the shooting and left in a Ford F-150. A chase ensued during which Peden allegedly opened fire toward police while passing through the town of Silverton.

The pursuit continued to Highway 214 where the Ford eventually came to a stop near NE Forest Ridge Road. The driver fired more shots toward officers and officers fired back. None of the officers’ shots struck Peden or Taylor, according to court documents.

Peden eventually surrendered and was arrested, authorities said. Taylor was reportedly found in the passenger seat with a life-threatening gunshot wound and was airlifted to a hospital.

Taylor died a week later at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

No officers were injured despite multiple bullets hitting their vehicles, court documents allege.

The Marion County grand jury unanimously found two Silverton police officers and a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy were justified in using deadly physical force during the incident.

Peden has been charged with 1st-degree murder with a firearm, 1st-degree kidnapping with a firearm, 2nd-degree attempted murder with a firearm, 1st-degree assault with a firearm, four counts of 1st-degree attempted murder with a firearm and fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Friday in Marion County.

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