Canby man apologizes to cop who 'was forced to shoot me'

SALEM, Ore. -- A Canby man was sentenced to prison and institutionalization at the Oregon State Hospital after he pleaded guilty except for insanity for the attempted murder of a Keizer police officer and armed robbery of a convenience store.

At his sentencing on Monday, Andy Lamar Gibson, 51, apologized to Keizer Police Officer Esteban Perez.

"It was my fault that he was forced to shoot me," he said.

Gibson entered a 7-Eleven store on 5550 River Road N the night of June 26 armed with two knives. He threatened a clerk with one knife in an attempt to steal beer.

The clerk called 911, and when Perez arrived at the store, Gibson was still on the premises.

Perez tried to talk to the armed man, but Gibson brandished a knife in each hand and charged at the officer, according to the Marion County District Attorney's Office.

Gibson ignored repeated commands to drop his weapons.

"Faced with this deadly threat, and the danger of busy traffic on the street behind him, Officer Perez had no choice but to discharge his firearm at Gibson," district attorney officials said in a statement.

Perez fired three rounds; one struck Gibson.

Even as he fell to the street with a gunshot wound, Gibson continued to thrust the knives toward officers. They were able to subdue him and provide first aid until medics arrived. Gibson was taken to Salem Health hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Perez was not injured during the incident. In July, a Marion County grand jury unanimously ruled Perez was justified in using deadly force.

Grand jury: Officer shooting of man in Keizer justified
Gibson was later taken to Marion County jail on charges of attempted murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

He underwent two mental health evaluations since his arrest.

After pleading guilty except for insanity to attempted murder, Gibson was committed to the Oregon State Hospital under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board.


His time at the state hospital will not exceed 20 years. Gibson also pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison. His prison sentence and state hospital commitment will run concurrently.

The remaining charges were dismissed.

In July, Gibson's family told the Statement Journal he had a history of mental health crisis and had run-ins with the law.

Melinda Becker, Gibson's step-sister, said her step-brother had a history of mental illness, suicide attempts and incarceration. Despite family efforts to have him civilly committed and receive care, Gibson remained homeless and in crisis.

"This system is failing him and those like him," she said.

Gibson was found guilty except for insanity of assault after stabbing his 19-year-old daughter in the stomach while driving from California to Hubbard in 2004, according to court records. He was placed under the jurisdiction of the state's Psychiatric Security Review Board for care and treatment for five years.

Without supervision and treatment, Gibson would continue to present a danger to others, the order stated.

Following his sentencing on Monday, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson said the incident underscored the need for better mental health services.

"Gibson's case highlights the desperate and violent measures taken by a man suffering with untreated mental illness," she said.

The events of the night put the public and law enforcement officers in a very dangerous situation, Clarkson added.

"If this case can teach us anything, it's that seeking better options for community mental health services and support for the families of those in mental health crisis should be a priority and would serve to protect everyone," she said.

For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at wmwoodwort@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth

© 2017 KGW-TV


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