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'Please take care of my baby': Friend recalls mom's last words to police, final moments in fatal Tigard Police shooting

A friend of Jacob Macduff says he was in a mental crisis during the time when police shot and killed him in Tigard on Wednesday.

TIGARD, Ore. — Theresa Chapin says Tigard police failed her friend when they shot and killed him early Wednesday evening. 

But Chapin wants people to remember and know Macduff how she knew him.

"He (Jacob) has been very sick for a long time and has manic episodes. And he doesn't really have anybody around so I stay around to be there for him."

Chapin and Macduff moved to Oregon nine months ago and at first, he was on medication and living a normal life. They would go hiking and have dinner with friends, but then Chapin said he stopped taking his medication.

Theresa said Jacob suffered from drug-induced psychosis and experienced manic episodes. Five days before the shooting, he was in bad shape.

"Probably five days leading up to this actual incident there were just crazy things going on in the house, like he would just put his head through the walls and just stuff that wasn't him."

She called the police multiple times in the days leading up to the shooting.

RELATED: 'I understand people want answers'; In wake of fatal police shooting & protests, Tigard police chief urges patience

"I want to say the first three interactions I had with Tigard PD involving Jacob, every time they told me-- and this is three different officers-- They all said to me – ‘I don't want to poke the bear,'" said Chapin.

"He's not an animal. He's a man, he's a kind man in a crisis and needs help."

 At one point one officer got on the phone with Jacob's mother, a doctor who lives out of state.

Chapin said, "She explained his entire condition to them and she's like ‘Please- just please be gentle with him, remain calm, please take care of my baby.’... Please take care of my baby is the last thing she told those officers before they went down there and shot her son."

Credit: (Courtesy: Theresa Chapin)
Photo of Jacob Macduff courtesy of his friend Theresa Chapin.

Chapin says she was on her balcony in her apartment at the time of the shooting because the police told her she was a victim and needed to stay inside.

While on her balcony Chapin heard five shots, she began to head towards the flight of stairs so she could go down there and stop what was happening. A friend told her she would be shot too and stopped her.

"I was on my balcony and I heard five gunshots," Chapin said. Then she said there was a long pause before she heard another five gunshots, ten in total.

Tigard Police responded to Macduff's apartment complex at Southwest Hall Boulevard and Bonita Road, around 4 p.m. Wednesday for a domestic disturbance call.

The Oregonian reported dispatch logs indicate police were warned by callers who had concerns about Macduff's mental health, Chapin said she told police this when they arrived too.

In a news release, police said Macduff had a knife and resisted arrest. During a struggle, the release said, an officer shot him. Police aren't releasing more details right now and cite this shooting is part of an ongoing investigation.

The Washington County Major Crimes Team, separate from Tigard Police, is the lead agency handling the investigation. A criminal background check for Macduff showed he had no prior offenses.

Chapin believes her friend never would have hurt anyone.

Chapin said Macduff loved art and wanted to go to school to be an architect. She also said he loved to draw pictures of buildings, enjoyed painting and loved music. She remembers him being sweet to her nieces and holds onto those happier moments.

She wants the community to see him as "...Someone who cared about people, not as someone who was a criminal. I want them to remember that he was sick."

The following day a planned demonstration and vigil was set to be held in Tigard. Tigard Police declaring the gathering a riot after windows were broken out at the police station as a group of around 100 people marched through downtown Tigard. 

Businesses were graffitied with the name 'Jacob Macduff' spray-painted on buildings along with damage to the police station.

"In my own words, I would say that Tigard PD failed him," Chapin said.

RELATED: Riot declared, 1 arrested in Tigard after vandalism in response to fatal police shooting

In the wake of the shooting during a fireside, Facebook live chat with the Tigard Mayor Jason Snider, the resounding question was about mental health resources for people. 

It also begged the question: what mental health training or de-escalation tactics are being taught to the police to prevent lethal use of force?

Snider said he is open to having a town hall with the public to discuss some of these concerns in depth further. 

Tigard Police would neither confirm or deny if a crisis team was called during the incident with Macduff.  

If you or someone you know is struggling there is help available through mental health services.


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