BEND, Ore. - An autopsy was conducted Monday at the state Medical Examiner's Office on a 31-year-old Bend man who was shot and killed by police who say he was resisting arrest during a downtown Bend traffic stop Friday night.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said no preliminary results had yet been provided, and that interviews with officers and witnesses are still underway. He said he expects no further details to be released until next week.
Meanwhile, a witness to the deadly police shootin capptured the sounds of several apparent gunshots on a cellphone video he shared with NewsChannel 21.
The witness said he also had provided the brief video to police investigating the deadly encounter Friday night that claimed the life of minivan driver Michael Tyler Jacques, 31, of Bend, who authorities said was suspected of driving drunk and recklessly before the traffic stop at Franklin Avenue and Bond Street.
The video begins with the sounds of shouting, apparently officers’ commands to the driver of the Dodge Caravan minivan, followed by a softer pop and then the louder, apparent sounds of one, then four more rapid gunshots, as the vehicle is seen moving forward.
Authorities confirmed Saturday that at least one, possibly two Bend police officers shot and killed Jacques when the he resisted arrest during the traffic stop, after a Taser deployment failed to subdue him.
“A tragic situation last night – unavoidable situation,” said Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, who with Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel spoke to reporters at the municipal courtroom in police headquarters. “A situation that is going to impact many lives into the future.”
Hummel described Jacques as a “relatively new” arrival from California, who had turned 31 the previous Saturday. He was only recently sentenced and served a 12-day jail term for a July attempted assault on a Bend police officer.
During the news conference, which NewsChannel 21 streamed on Facebook Live, Hummel provided some details of what transpired Friday night – but not the crucial moments leading up the shooting, since officers, witnesses and others are still being interviewed.
He said he wanted to make sure investigators learn what those involved or witnesses recollect personally, and not have it distorted by what they heard from officials.
Around 10:26 p.m., Hummel said, two people called 911 dispatchers to report a white 2002 Dodge Caravan minivan driving erratically, heading south on Third Street near Butler Market Road.
The prosecutor said the reported poor driving included the minivan “running into snowbanks, getting sideways on the road, almost striking a bicyclist and other dangerous driving.”
Hummel said Jacques drove through the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at Third Street and Franklin Avenue, then headed west on Franklin, toward downtown.
Around 10:30 p.m., he said, an officer stopped the minivan at Franklin Avenue and Bond Street. During the stop, a second Bend officer arrived.
“Officers attempted to arrest Jacques, and the reports are that he did not cooperate,” Hummel said. “A Taser was deployed, without effect,” during what Oregon State Police referred to earlier as an “altercation.”
“Following the Taser, at least one officer fired their gun, striking” Jacques, who was alone in the minivan, Hummel said.
Jacques was removed from the minivan by officers and first aid was rendered, until medics arrived and pronounced him dead, Hummel said.
Hummel said he was contacted shortly after 11 p.m. and headed to the scene, implementing the county’s state-mandated multi-agency plan for how to handle cases of officers’ use of force. Under that plan, Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency, he said.
A search warrant was sought and obtained for the minivan, and Hummel said that search would be conducted Monday, as well as the auotpsy.
OSP Capt. Bill Fugate said neither officer was seriously injured. He also said it's not known yet if Jacques was armed at the time, pending the results of the minivan search.
Porter said the two officers involved have been with the force for 15 and seven years, “both experienced, seasoned … both in good standing with the police department, both with a history of excellent decision-making in difficult situations.”
The officers’ names are not being released yet, the police chief said, asking patience from the community, as the agencies involved want to do a thorough, proper investigation.
"I ask for patience from our citizens," Porter said. "We can do this quickly, or we can do it right. These things take time. Toxicologies sometimes take as much as six months to get back in these situations. We have many witnesses to interview. There are multiple levels of scrutiny, checks and balances.”
“Our condolences go out to the family” of Jacques, Porter added.
Authorities asked that any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police call OSP Detective James Koehler at 541-633-2215.
The involved officers did not have body cameras and there was no in-car camera, the police chief said.
Asked about Jacques’ criminal history, Hummel noted his office did prosecute him earlier this year. A check of online Oregon court records show he was arrested in a July 15 incident on charges of attempting to assault a Bend police officer, Ryan Tiktin, as well as harassment of another man and second-degree disorderly conduct. on the same day
Jacques pleaded no contest to the charge of attempt to assault a public safety officer. Circuit Judge Michael Adler sentenced him last month to 12 days in jail, which he served Nov. 10-22, and a year probation.
In addition, online reports indicate Jacques was arrested about a year ago, while living in Laguna Beach, Calif., on a charge of lewd acts with a child under age 14.
In 2009, he was arrested on suspicion of resisting officers and a parole violation. According to a newspaper report, police were called to a man allegedly pounding on a parked minivan with a scared woman inside. Jacques ran before police arrived and was caught by officers after a chase that ended in a home's backyard. Officers said the incident resulted from a fight between Jacques and his girlfriend.
But Hummel stressed that Jacques' criminal history is not his or investigators’ focus.
“What’s important is what happened at that moment,” he said. A history “can tell us something, it’s not 100 percent relevant. I don’t care if someone had a bad record or good record (if) they did something wrong.”
“I don’t want any witnesses thinking about, ‘Oh, this guy had this record. I want them telling us what they saw.”
Toxicology results on Jacques can take anywhere from one to six months, due to the hundreds of cases awaiting such results, Hummel said.
The two men would not yet say if more than one shot was fired, or which officer did so. But Porter defended their actions, saying they were responding to a reported drunk driver, “doing their best on a very busy night.” Their names and employment history with the department will be released after they are interviewed, he said.
Asked about a search on scene for any stray bullets or casings, the men said that was standard procedure, as investigators also are looking for any video evidence that might exist.
Early Saturday morning, Hummel confirmed to NewsChannel 21 on scene the fatality at a busy time at the start of Christmas weekend in the city's downtown core.
OSP Captain Bill Fugate said in an initial news release that "an altercation occurred" during the traffic stop "and at least one officer fired their weapon," striking the man:
An officer could be heard shouting, "Shots fired!" over the police radio, and numerous police quickly converged on the area, closing streets and taping off the scene.
Large portable lights were brought in to illuminate the area as the Tri-County Major Incident Team began several hours of witness interviews, gathering evidence and determining the sequence of events.
With the man's body still on the ground, covered by a yellow tarp or blanket, a drone was activated to take aerial footage in the early-morning hours.
Fugate said that following Senate Bill 111, which governs investigations into the use of deadly force, a multi-agency investigation coordinated by the DA was underway. Other agencies involved include the Deschutes County Sheriff's office, Redmond and Sunriver police, and OSP's criminal investigations and forensic services divisions.
It was the third deadly police officer-citizen encounter of the year in Deschutes County.
On May 31, Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Richard Brannin shot and killed a Bend man, Nicholas Berger, who assaulted a gift-shop worker at the High Desert Museum south of Bend, then charged at the trooper with a knife. Hummel later ruled the shooting legally justified.
Hummel reached the same conclusion about Redmond Officer Cory Buckley’s actions on Aug. 25, in which he struck and fatally injured Michael Gaskill with his patrol car. Gaskill had been pointing a loaded handgun at passing motorists and officers, then aimed the weapon at and was walking toward Sgt. Curtis Chambers on busy Canal Boulevard.