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Nov-28-2007 17:37printcomments

Information Released in Fatal Shooting Involving Two Washington County Deputies

Steve Stanturf was struck three times with bullets fired from the deputies rifles, they say he fired first and almost struck neighbors with a random bullet.

Shooting investigation

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Additional Information has been released on Saturday night's fatal deputy-involved shooting incident in Washington County. The deputies involved were Corporal Steve Schuster and Corporal Mark Trost.

Sgt. David Thompson with the Washington County Sheriff's Office says Corporal Steve Schuster has been with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for nine and a half years.

"He has been a corporal for six years and a field-training officer for eight years. Before being hired by the Sheriff’s Office, he was employed as a police officer by the City of Cornelius for three years."

Corporal Mark Trost Thompson says, has been with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for six years. He was promoted to corporal on October 20, 2007.

"He has been a field-training officer for two years. Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Office, he worked as a reserve deputy for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office for more than two years."

The incident began Saturday at approximately 9:30 PM, when deputies were dispatched to a family disturbance at the Stanturf residence, at 19977 SW Stokesay Lane in Aloha.

At that time, Thompson says an investigation was conducted and it was determined that no crime had been committed. Deputies remained present while Mrs. Stanturf and their children voluntarily left the house.

Then at approximately 10:15 PM, Corporals Schuster and Trost were called to assist on a call involving a welfare check of Steve Stanturf. Thompson says they received information from dispatch that a relative of Mr. Stanturf called to say that they were afraid Mr. Stanturf may be suicidal and he had numerous guns in the house.

Corporal Schuster and Corporal Trost assumed positions across the street from Mr. Stanturf’s house in order to observe the house while another deputy attempted to make telephone contact with him. Both corporals were armed with patrol rifles.

At the same time a third deputy contacted Mr. Stanturf by telephone and had a brief conversation with him, according to Thompson.

"That deputy was unsuccessful in convincing Mr. Stanturf to come out peacefully. Mr. Stanturf terminated the call by hanging up on the deputy. That deputy has received training in crisis intervention."

The deputies said Mr. Stanturf then shot a rifle round out of an upstairs window. The bullet went through the window of the house across the street (19988 S.W. Stokesay Lane) and nearly struck the residents of the house who were looking out the window to see what was happening outside.

"After shooting out of the upstairs window," Thompson stated, "Mr. Sandturf came out to the front porch of his house and started firing a .357 magnum revolver at Corporal Schuster and Corporal Trost."

"One round nearly struck Corporal Trost and lodged in a recycle container near him. Both corporals fired back at Mr. Stanturf. At this time the investigation indicates that Mr. Stanturf fired three shots and that Corporals Schuster and Trost fired four shots combined."

The coroner’s report indicates that Mr. Stanturf was struck with three rounds, all from the two corporals’ rifles. (None of the gunshot wounds were self-inflicted.) The fourth bullet hit Mr. Stanturf’s house and disintegrated. Mr. Stanturf retreated back into his house and partially shut the door. Members of the Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT) later found him deceased when they entered the home.

During a subsequent search, investigators say they found several firearms strategically placed throughout the house. Thompson says Mr. Stanturf also had ammunition placed in different locations. These firearms included a .40 caliber Glock handgun, a 20-gauge shotgun loaded with rifled slugs, and a .25-.35 caliber rifle.

Corporals Schuster and Trost have been placed on administrative leave as is standard in officer-involved shootings. The Washington County Major Crimes Team continues to investigate the case and will turn their findings over to the District Attorney’s Office upon completion.

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