A Springfield police officer's use of deadly force earlier this month was justified under Oregon law, the Lane County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.
The ruling by District Attorney Alex Gardner clears officer Brian Keetle, a nine-year veteran of Springfield's police force, from any wrongdoing when he shot and injured a 41-year-old man on March 11 outside a duplex in the 4000 block of C Street.
Officers went to Brian Walker's home after receiving a 911 call reporting that Walker was suicidal and had a gun to his head.
Walker reportedly menaced a woman with the gun and fired a round from the weapon before officers arrived, police said.
Walker failed to comply with Keetle's commands to get on the ground, and reached for his gun in his waistband, the district attorney said. Keetle then fired four shots, striking Walker several times.
In his narrative of the events, Gardner noted that dispatchers advised responding officers that Walker was "threatening to shoot any cops who came near him."
Shortly after his arrival, Keetle confronted Walker as Walker was facing another officer and failing to follow that officer's commands, Gardner said. The officer issuing the commands was exposed in an open area near the home, he said.
Keetle and another officer immediately rendered emergency medical care to Walker after he was shot, Gardner said.
In sum, the evidence to date makes it "clear" that Keetle's use of force was lawful, Gardner said.
Law enforcement will continue to investigate the shooting to determine whether Walker, who still is recovering from the shooting, will face any criminal charges.
Keetle is assigned to the department's patrol division and is a K-9 handler. He was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure whenever an officer is involved in a shooting.
Springfield police spokesman Sgt. Rich Charboneau said the department is working on a reintegration plan to help Keetle return to work soon.