Rafael Gomez (copy)

Rafael Gomez appears via video in Jefferson County Circuit Court on July 28.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said police were justified in shooting the man who allegedly stole an AR-15 rifle from a truck at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on July 22, led police on a chaotic chase through Madras and aimed the weapon at bystanders, passing drivers on U.S. Highway 97 and officers before he was shot in the arm and taken into custody.

“Upon review of this incident, evidence unquestionably supports the the conclusion that law enforcement was justified in using deadly physical force under the circumstances they encountered, and it was reasonable for them to believe that their lives and the lives of others were endangered,” Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche said in a news release Wednesday.

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Joe Siess is a GA reporter for the Bulletin. Joe previously reported for the Klamath Falls Herald and News and the Malheur Enterprise. He was born and raised in the Kansas City area, and holds a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri.

(3) comments


Why would it even be a question?


No consequences for leaving an AR-15 in an unlocked vehicle?


I've reached out to Anna K and Joe Siess on whether the owner has been cited as there is a 2021Oregon Gun Safety law on the books regarding this type of situation.

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