Grand jury: 5 Salem cops justified in fatal shooting of man

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Marion County grand jury has found five Salem police officers were justified in the fatal shooting of a man last month.

The decision came Friday in the death of Michael Compton, 27, after hearing testimony from over a dozen witnesses and reviewing video footage and evidence, The Statesman Journal reported.

Salem police killed Compton Jan. 23 following an alleged armed carjacking and shootout in South Salem. Salem police say officers first responded to reports of an armed robbery and carjacking in progress in a Walmart parking lot.

Victims said Compton jumped in front of their vehicle, pointed a gun at them and told them to get out of the car or he would shoot. The driver accelerated and Compton jumped out of the way, ran and tried to steal another vehicle from a woman near a gym.

Police chased him on foot to an auto parts store parking lot, told him to stop and instead Compton pulled a gun and fired at officers, police said. Officers fired back and the shooting continued between them as Compton tried to continue running, police said.

“In total, five Salem police officers fired at Compton who never followed commands, showed his hands, dropped the gun, nor made any motions to surrender,” investigators said.

The officers that fired their weapons at Compton were Robert Acosta, Reece “Dru” Mathis, Justin Carney, Kristy Fitzpatrick, and Adam Waite. Compton died at the scene.


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