Further information has been released regarding the fatal officer-involved shooting in Lane County on January 15th.
The shooting occurred in the Santa Clara area of Eugene, when a sheriff’s deputy saw a stolen vehicle in a driveway. The Lane County district attorney, Patty Perlow, released the name of the officer on Wednesday. Deputy Richard Smith has been with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office for just under four years.
On January 15th, at around 4:00 PM, he spotted the vehicle, which was occupied by Robert Martinez, Jr., and, in the passenger seat, Miles Smith. According to the DA, the two men exited the vehicle and ignored Deputy Smith’s commands to get back in and, afterward, to get on the ground. Martinez walked toward the front door of the house, and reportedly pulled a gun from his jacket after Deputy Smith threatened him with a Taser. Deputy Smith fired the taser once and it had no effect, so he switched to his gun. The DA says that the deputy fired as Martinez was raising his own weapon.
A video of the incident, taken from a nearby home security system, was also released. Perlow stated that she found Deputy Smith’s actions to be justified, and that “he displayed a calm demeanor that can be attributed to his training and professionalism."
--Sam Bouman, KBOO News