PORTLAND – Dramatic video released Thursday of a shootout on Interstate 84 that left a state trooper injured and a suspect dead serves as a graphic reminder of how quickly things can escalate for police.
The dash cam video recorded it all as the driver's three kids in the car would see their father make an incredibly violent choice.
Sgt. Dan Kraus of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said he's watched the video multiple times. As a 21 year veteran, he knows that most of the time traffic stops end with nothing more than a ticket or a warning.
But the video of the shooting shows how sometimes officers only have fractions of a second to react.
“Our responses are defensive in nature,” said Sgt. Kraus. “He can attempt to control the situation by the positioning of the vehicle or verbal commands those types of means, but ultimately the person has to make the decision to comply or not comply.”
Even Kraus was struck by the intensity of the video, and he said it is a powerful example of what officers need to be ready for and train for.
The trooper involved in that shooting was hit but suffered relatively minor injuries.
He fired back and struck the driver, 34-year-old John Van Allen II in the chest.
Van Allen drove off but was later found dead along the freeway.
The district attorney ruled the trooper was justified in using deadly force.