HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Oregon State Trooper Nic Cederberg was shot 12 times in 50 seconds during a Christmas night shootout last year.
That information was revealed in a letter from the Washington County District Attorney's Office announcing their conclusion that Cederberg was "completely justified" in using deadly force against homicide suspect James Tylka that night.
"It is clear, after my review of this investigation, that Trooper Cederberg acted under the reasonable belief that James Tylka was 'using or about to use unlawful deadly force' against Trooper Cederberg at the time he fired his weapon," wrote Washington County Senior District Attorney Bracken McKey.
The letter, dated July 14, was sent to Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton.
BACKGROUND: Fatal Christmas night shooting
The district attorney already concluded in February that five other responding officers who shot Tylka were justified in doing so.
At about 10:15 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2016, several neighbors called police to report a homicide in King City. Dispatch learned the suspect, James Tylka, who investigators later learned had shot and killed his estranged wife, Katelynn Tylka-Armand, had fled the area in a white Mitsubishi.
Cederberg, who was in Tigard at the time, started traveling south on Highway 99 through King City and Sherwood, and began checking the back roads for Tylka's car.
The patrol car Cederberg was driving had a dash-mounted video camera, which captured video and audio of the incident.
Cederberg spotted Tylka's car on Bell Road at about 10:48 p.m. Tylka ignored Cederberg's commands to stop and kept driving north and crossed the Highway 99 intersection, where Bell Road turns into SW Gimm Lane.
After reaching the "dead end" sign on SW Gimm Lane, Tylka fired several rounds from his gun at Cederberg. He then turned his car around at the dead end and started driving towards Cederberg with the intent of ramming the patrol car. Cederberg put the car in park, got out and opened fire on Tylka, firing 16 rounds as Tylka crashed his car into the patrol car.
One of the bullets hit Tylka as he drove towards Cederberg. An autopsy later noted a gunshot wound to the right part of Tylka's neck.
Tylka then fired six rounds at Cederberg through his closed passenger window. Cederberg was hit by the fifth or sixth round and radioed he'd been shot. Cederberg reloaded his gun and fired 16 rounds at Tylka, who ducked down behind his trunk and returned fire at Cederberg.
As Cederberg reloaded, Tylka rushed at him and fired three rounds, then leaned over the hood and fired seven more rounds at Cederberg from close range. Tylka tried to reload his pistol but was unable to, at which point he stole Cederberg's duty pistol and fired one more round.
The letter noted that Cederberg's beanie cap had a "small horizontal hole ... consistent with a bullet grazing the cap." Cederberg was shot 12 times, in the right hip, right wrist, left tibia, left triceps, left torso and twice in the left armpit area. His ballistic vest also sustained five shots.
The letter noted that "only 50 seconds elapsed from the time Tylka sped towards Trooper Cederberg ... to the moment Tylka fired the last close-range shot at Trooper Cederberg."
Tylka hid in the bushes as other officers arrived. Officers opened fire on Tylka when they heard a gunshot and believed he was shooting at them. Investigators later determined he had shot himself in the head. He sustained 20 gunshot wounds.
Because of the injuries Cederberg suffered, he wasn't able to be interviewed until March 9. He told Major Crimes Team Detective Andy Hays that he fired his weapon and used deadly force because he believed his "life was in danger."
McKey wrote that "overwhelming video and audio evidence supports Trooper Cederberg's position." He also noted that the district attorney's office has completed their review of the incident.
Cederberg is a 7-year veteran of OSP. He is assigned to the patrol division at the North Plains Worksite. He is a U.S. Army veteran.
VIEW: Read the complete letter
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