On this final day of No Shave November, Central Oregon Daily wanted to catch up with local law enforcement officers before they shave off those beards they’ve been growing all month to raise money for cancer awareness.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan was just the person for the job.
City of Bend Police Department
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Oregon
Recent studies have shown that a significant number of convicted criminals have struggled with mental health or had a mental health crisis. Because of this, Oregon has been diverting more funds into mental health care as part of the justice system.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan takes a look at local law enforcement’s programs for mental health care.
“In the early morning hours of October 20th the sleepy Northeast Bend neighborhood of McCall Landing was the scene of a horrific and tragic incident that resulted in the deaths of 33-year-old Bend resident Kyle Adams and 31-year-old Bend resident Tyler Herrick.
Adams was asleep in his bedroom when he was awoken by his neighbor Herrick who was standing in the bedroom. Herrick had no permission to be in the house, much less Adams’ bedroom. Herrick spouted off unintelligible gibberish and Adams demanded that he leave. Herrick left the bedroom and the house.
Adams texted his roommate, 31-year old Bend resident Brennan Pebbles. Adams told Pebbles that Herrick had entered the house without permission. Pebbles immediately came home from work.
Adams and Pebbles were in their living room discussing what Herrick had done. While they were talking, and unbeknownst to them, Herrick approached the front yard of their home with an AR-15 rifle. Herrick stood in front of the living room window, aimed his rifle at Adams and Pebbles, and fired multiple shots that shattered the front window. At least one of the rounds struck Adams who eventually died from his injury.
Pebbles fled from the living room and ran upstairs. Once upstairs he grabbed his gun and hid in the bathroom of the master bedroom. Herrick fired multiple shots at the front door, and entered the home and methodically hunted Pebbles down in a room-to-room search. When Herrick entered the master bedroom, Pebbles shot and killed him.
Herrick had no justification to be in Adams and Pebbles’ home and no justification to open fire on them. Adams and Pebbles had done nothing to entice Herrick or to cause his ire. The investigation into what caused Herrick to do what he did is continuing. What is clear now is that Pebbles’ decision to shoot Herrick was legally authorized and saved his life.”
Statement from Deschutes County District Attorney Hummel:
“My heart goes out to Brennan Pebbles as he struggles with the pain of seeing his friend murdered next to him, being hunted down himself, and then shooting and killing the assailant to save his life. Kyle Adams’ family is mourning the loss of a loved one who went to bed in his own home and woke up in a warzone. He did nothing wrong and will be missed. Why did Tyler Herrick do what he did? We don’t know yet but won’t stop digging until we figure it out. Our community deserves answers and we’ll do our best to provide them.”
Fourth of July festivities were put on hold late Wednesday afternoon after a fire broke out on the base of Pilot Butte in Bend. On Thursday Bend Police arrested two men accused of the starting the fire that burned ten acres and threatened nearby homes.
The two suspects are currently facing charges of criminal mischief in the first degree, reckless burning and possible arson charges related to the blaze.
Around 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday a small fire, allegedly sparked by fire works, quickly escalated into a full on inferno and fire crews were quickly called in to handle the blaze that was propelled through the grass by strong winds.
The fire prompted evacuations of two nearby apartment complexes and shut down Highway 20 in both directions. The fire also lead to a power outage that left roughly 27,000 Bend residents without power for hours.
On Wednesday night Highway 20 was reopened, power was back on and Bend’s fireworks show went on as planned. However, the Pilot Butte park access road and trail head will be closed for two days and firefighter continue to put out hot spots in order to avoid another fire from flaring up.
It’s been nearly two months since Bend resident Sara Gomez was last seen, and even though the prime suspect in her disappearance is now dead, Sara’s family and friends continue to look for her.
Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed has been following this case from the beginning and caught up with the family today as they get ready for another search this weekend.
Bend police detectives are also still taking tips and hope to come up with any new clues in the case.
County Commissioners Hoping to Add Two New Enforcement Positions
After months of discussion with state, county and city officials the Deschutes County Commissioners made a first step today in addressing the ongoing issues with marijuana enforcement and regulations in Deschutes County.
County staff confirmed today that they will be looking into the hiring and funding of two new law enforcement positions as part of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, known as CODE.
This was an idea proposed and supported by both County Commissioners and Bend City Councilors at a joint meeting held last week.
While CODE serves a tri-county area, these two positions would focus solely on enforcement in Deschutes County. The cost of hiring will likely be split, one going to the City of Bend for a police officer position and one would be a deputy sheriff position paid for by Deschutes County.
Commissioners also discussed raising the applications fees for marijuana grows in order to cover the cost of the extra time and effort county staff to deal with the complicated applications and the appeals that often follow.
Commissioners also floated the idea of putting a temporary pause on the processing of marijuana applications in order to clarify and fill in gaps in the current county code, but they are expected discuss those ideas in depth next week.
Bend Police are investigating an explosion that rocked a northeast Bend neighborhood on Sunday night.
So far we known two residents of the home where life-flighted to a Portland burn unit Sunday night with third-degree burns. The Red Cross is currently helping the residents with housing assistance.
The home, located near the corner of Hidden Valley Drive and Weddell Street, sustained damage to the garage door and side yard. The damage was visible from the outside of the home and police have since posted that the home is unsafe to enter.
However, according to Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed, one resident of the home was allowed back into the house to collect some belongings and her dog, who was unharmed.
The Bend Police Department said they hope to release more information on what caused the explosion as the investigation progresses.
No other homes or people were impacted by the incident.
Officials Increase Security After Threat From ER Patient
There was an increase of security patrols at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend on Thursday due to a threat made about a month ago by a patient in the ER. St. Charles safety department and police interviewed the man who made the threat for March 8th. They did not believe the person posed any risks, but he does have a 60-day no trespass order.
However, with security and hospital staff on high alert, a staff member did report a suspicious package at a bus stop outside of the hospital. The box was checked out by security staff and turned out to be a thermometer for concrete that was being poured as part of an ongoing construction project.
There was also a small dumpster fire reported at the hospital on Thursday, but according to St. Charles staff, that was put out within about ten minutes. Bend Fire happened to be at the hospital for unrelated reasons, which allowed to respond within minutes.