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White cop returns fire;
shoots black motorist dead

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Oregon State Police Thursday released a dramatic video showing the gun battle that unfolded in August on Interstate 84 about 100 miles east of Portland, ending in the death of a Portland motorist.

The freeway confrontation lasted only moments, according to the patrol car video from the Aug. 29 episode. The video, released to The Oregonian after a public records request, starts as Trooper Matt Zistel stops a Cadillac driven by John Van Allen, 34. Allen had three of his children with him that afternoon as he pulled over near Biggs Junction.

The video shows Allen stepping out of his car and assuming a military pose. After Zistel repeatedly tells him to get back in his car, Allen pulls a pistol from his waistband, advancing on Zistel and firing. The video doesn’t show Zistel.

After shots are fired, the video shows Allen returning to his car and driving off. He was shot in the chest but the video shows no obvious injury.

Zistel radios, “Shots fired” and then moments later,  “I’ve been hit in the side. I’m okay.”

Responding officers found Zistel suffering a gunshot wound. They found Allen’s car a half mile down the freeway, parked on the shoulder. Allen was dead, shot once in the chest.

Zistel was treated for his injury at a hospital in The Dalles and released. He has been on administrative leave. Zistel, 26, has been with the agency five years.
In a subsequent investigation, Sherman County District Attorney Wade McLeod concluded Zistel was justified in shooting Allen.

Relatives said Allen was returning to his native South Carolina at the time of shooting. They said the aggressive action was out of character. He moved to Portland from Pittsburgh. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a construction engineer from 2009 until 2012.

-- Les Zaitz

Relentless: He walks to the other side of the car, still shooting at the officer who is returning fire
Relentless: He walks to the other side of the car, still shooting at the officer who is returning fire
Retreat: Van Allen eventually skulks off after hitting the trooper, Matt Zistel, once in the side
Retreat: Van Allen eventually skulks off after hitting the trooper, Matt Zistel, once in the side
Running away: Even though he appears uninjured, he actually sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and responding officers found his car half a mile away with his body inside
Running away: Even though he appears uninjured, he actually sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and responding officers found his car half a mile away with his body inside
Responding officers found Zistel suffering a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and came across Allen's car on the shoulder of the freeway half a mile away.
He was dead inside, with a gunshot wound to the chest. Three of his five children - a 10-year-old girl and two boys, aged 13 and 15 -  were also at the scene but they were not hurt.
The three children were taken into the care of the Department of Human Services.
Zistel was treated for his wound and released. He has been on paid leave and will continue to be until he is well enough to return to work.
In a later investigation, Sherman County District Attorney Wade McLeod said that Zistel was justified in shooting Allen, The Oregonian reported.
Killed: The DA determined that Zistel was justified in shooting Van Allen, pictured, a former Army Reserve
Killed: The DA determined that Zistel was justified in shooting Van Allen, pictured, a former Army Reserve
Matt Zistel
John Van Allen
Altercation: Trooper Matt Zistel, left, is recovering from his gunshot wound. Family members of Van Allen, right, still maintain that the shooting was out of character for the father-of-five from South Carolina

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White cop returns fire;
shoots black motorist dead
White cop returns fire; <br>shoots black motorist dead
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