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Silverton police officer justified in fatal shooting of man, grand jury finds

William Bluestone, 21, who was armed with a handgun, shot himself in the chest before an officer shot him, according to the district attorney's office.
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SILVERTON, Ore — A grand jury found that police were justified in the fatal shooting of 21-year-old William Bluestone in Silverton on Feb. 14, the Marion County District Attorney's Office reported Wednesday.

The incident started when Silverton police responded to a domestic violence disturbance in the 900 block of Reserve Street at around 12:49 p.m. that day.

According to the district attorney's office, Bluestone's wife reported to police that he had assaulted her, forced her out of their apartment and wouldn't let her take their 3-year-old child. She gave the apartment key to officers and gave them permission them to enter the apartment.

When officers Timothy Hein and Jonathan Lamoreaux went inside the apartment, they found Bluestone sitting on the couch next to a baby. After officers removed the 3-year-old child and the baby from the apartment, they went back in and found Bluestone hiding under a bed. He told officers he had a gun and they backed out of the room and tried to negotiate with Bluestone to surrender peacefully.

According to the district attorney's office, Bluestone crawled out from under the bed and began pointing the gun at himself. He demanded to see his wife and kids but refused officers' orders to put the gun down. After more than an hour of trying to negotiate with Bluestone, he shot himself in the chest. The district attorney's office said Officer Hein didn't know who Bluestone had shot at and so he fired a single shot, hitting Bluestone in the abdomen.

Police and medical personnel tried to save Bluestone's life but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Feb. 15, an autopsy was performed. The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office found that both bullets, the one fired by Bluestone and the one fired by Officer Hein, passed through Bluestone's heart and that either shot alone would have been fatal.

The investigation was conducted by Oregon State Police and the evidence was presented to the grand jury by the Marion County District Attorney's Office. The evidence included witness testimony, the medical examiner's report, photographs, police body camera recordings and more. The grand jury unanimously ruled that the use of deadly force by Hein was justified in this case.

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