By Scott Hammers

The Bulletin

Bend Police said a 23-year-old man stabbed his mother with a knife before retreating inside her home and fatally shooting himself in southeast Bend on Wednesday afternoon.

Susan Elaine Stafford, 60, was in good condition Thursday afternoon at St. Charles Bend, less than 24 hours after police and firefighters responding to a 911 call found her bleeding from a chest wound in the front yard of her home on SE Donkey Sled Road.

Seth Daniel Roberts, Stafford’s son, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the home hours later.

Lt. Nick Parker, spokesman for Bend Police, said Thursday Roberts called 911 dispatchers to report his mother’s injuries but was unable or unwilling to “correctly” answer dispatchers’ questions. Police contacted Roberts briefly outside the house, Parker said, but he refused to talk and fled inside.

Officers heard a gunshot from inside the house shortly after Roberts went inside after 4 p.m., Parker said, but officers did not enter the house until roughly 7:35 p.m.

Parker said Bend Police, joined by members of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team spent approximately 3½ hours attempting to contact Roberts on the phone, trying to reach family members to learn more about his mental state and planning for their eventual entry into the house. Going into the house immediately after hearing the shot would have been unwise, he said.

“We don’t know if that was another person, if that was a shot at law enforcement, if that was a shot into the wall to get us away,” Parker said. “We have no idea what’s going on inside those walls where we can’t see.”

Parker said Roberts was known to have occasionally stayed at his mother’s house, but he is not believed to have been a full-time resident at the address.

A premise history of the Donkey Sled Road address obtained from the Deschutes County 911 District showed police visited the house a handful of times in recent years. In July 2013, officers responded to a suicide attempt, and in November 2013, a civil dispute brought police to the house three times.

The premise history lists two incidents at the address in July and August but does not provide detail as to the nature of the incidents.

A review of Oregon court records indicates no criminal history for Stafford or Roberts.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387,