A Bend woman who police believe fatally shot her 7-year-old son before attempting to kill herself is expected to recover, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Friday.
Hummel said he’s still deciding whether and how to charge 28-year-old Tashina Aleine Jordan, who is being treated at St. Charles Bend for an unspecified life-threatening overdose. Bend Police believe Jordan shot and killed her son, Mason, who had physical and developmental disabilities, Monday afternoon at their home in southwest Bend.
“Me and my deputies are working with Bend Police detectives around the clock to determine exactly what happened and why it happened,” Hummel said.
He said he planned to decide whether to charge Jordan before doctors are ready to release her, and he couldn’t say when that might be. Her improving health can help in the investigation, he said.
“It did seem like in the first two days after that incident, it looked like she would not survive, but now, it looks like she will,” Hummel said.
Emergency personnel found Jordan near death after an apparent overdose and Mason dead of an apparent gunshot wound shortly before 6 p.m. Monday at a house owned by Jordan’s mother on Mount Hope Lane. Lt. Clint Burleigh, a spokesman for the Bend Police Department, said police believed Jordan attempted a murder-suicide because of a note left at the scene.
Police knew more Friday than on Monday night, but Hummel couldn’t share details because it could compromise the ongoing investigation, he said.
He was considering all information, but his decision to charge Jordan would be based solely on whether a crime was committed, Hummel said.
“What is going to drive it is whether I believe a crime is committed,” he said. “There are many pieces of information that may be relevant to what the sentence should be.”
While Hummel hasn’t yet decided whether to charge Jordan, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has already had conversations about what to do if she’s brought to the county jail. Because police believe Jordan attempted suicide, Deschutes County Corrections Capt. Mike Shults said the jail will make sure behavioral health specialists are on hand if she’s brought into custody.
The jail aims to get inmates into less restrictive open-dorm environments, but deputies watch for signs that new arrivals are depressed or experiencing suicidal ideations, he said. Inmates who exhibit those signs talk with behavioral health employees and can be placed in a medical unit, where they’re isolated and checked on every 15 or 30 minutes. They can be given suicide smocks — bulky sleeveless gowns made of a tough material that cannot be torn, folded or rolled to form nooses.
“It’s difficult,” Shults said. “Typically, people that come into our custody, a number of them have attempted (suicide) in their lifetime or are suicidal at the time.”
He said the jail has a good relationship with St. Charles Bend and gets information about medication or other treatment inmates received while in the hospital.
Jordan would have social workers and medical professionals working with her while she’s at St. Charles, he said.
“Those ideations may be settled down by the time she comes to us,” Shults said.
A GoFundMe page raising money to cover funeral expenses for Mason had raised $7,500 of its $10,000 goal by Friday evening. The page, started by a family friend, describes Mason as a smart, handsome and funny boy who was curious about everything and touched the lives of many people.
Mason had cerebral palsy, a motor disability that made it hard for him to control his muscles. He also had hydrocephalus, a condition in which too much fluid can build up in the brain and cause brain damage.
Students at Miller Elementary School in Bend raised money to help Mason’s family with ongoing medical expenses, traveling to Portland hospitals and adding a wheelchair ramp into the home and van, according to his profile on the website of Sparrows Club, a nonprofit organization through which students raise money for children who are sick or have disabilities.
— Reporter: 541-633-2160; firstname.lastname@example.org