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Elderly woman with gun dies after Clackamas County deputies use Taser on her

Published: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 11:05 PM Updated: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 11:17 PM

Michael Russell, The Oregonian

An 87-year-old woman tasered by deputies Thursday afternoon after she reached for a handgun on the porch of her Boring home died an hour later at a hospital, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.

Detective Jim Strovink, a sheriff's spokesman, gave this account of the incident:

Deputies responded to reports that the woman was waving a semi-automatic handgun toward a man using a backhoe to install a new water line near her home at the Big Valley Woods Mobile Home Park, 32700 S.E. Leewood Lane.

The man radioed his wife, an assistant manager at the park, that the woman was threatening to shoot. The wife called 9-1-1.

Two deputies responded about 2:35 p.m. and cautiously approached the woman. After five minutes, they began negotiating with the woman, telling her to put the gun down. Her identity was not released

She briefly placed the gun on the porch handrail, then reached to pick it back up.

A deputy who was positioned out of sight in shrubbery near the porch used his Taser, and the woman slumped to the ground.

Deputies began performing CPR on the woman, who was described as unconscious and unresponsive but breathing, Strovink said.

American Medical Response medics arrived a few minutes later and took the woman to Mount Hood Medical Center, where she died.

Neighbors told investigators the woman had been in failing physical and mental health recently, suffering from a heart condition and dementia. The woman was still wearing a hospital admittance bracelet from a recent visit.

The deputies involved will be placed on administrative leave, Strovink said.

An investigation of the incident will be handled by the Clackamas County Inter-Agency Major Crimes Team, he said. The team includes detectives from Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City and West Linn as well as representatives from the county sheriff's and district attorney's offices.

Although the incident did not involve the use of lethal force, Strovink said, "we want to do it (the investigation) so that it's totally above reproach. "


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Added: Jul-9-2010 Occurred On: Jul-8-2010
By: gregory_peckory
In:
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Tags: taser, death, granny,
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  • i think most cops are taser happy however she did reach for her gun and got tazed an 87 year old with a gun can kill you just as quick as a 10 year old with a gun she died and the officer lived i'd have to say case closed.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Sucks it had to end this way but this was one of the Justifiable times it had to be used.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Clearly an obvious case of racism.
    By the way, what race were the parties involved.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • I did a little googling. I found another version of the story that included pictures of the scene taken afterward.

    The woman had just been hospitalized and was reported to be mentally deteriorating. She had threatened to shoot the officers. Also, her porch was high up so that the deputies could not simply lunge forward and grab the weapon.

    It looks like a reasonable use of the taser to me.

    Story here:

    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/july082010/taser-death.php

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • She had a gun...she was lucky they didnt shoot her.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Sad situation but it sounds as though they had few options. Old and in failing mental health does not mean law enforcement should let a person wave a gun around and threaten to shoot people.

    She may well not have had the mental capacity to know better, but the cops have a responsibility to disarm her... as well as the right to go home to their families alive and well.

    They used reasonable force in my opinion.... which, along with a dollar will get me a small order of fries at McDonald's.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • According to the Police Executive Research Forum (Which at least sounds official):

    "The weapons [tasers] should not be used... on pregnant women, elderly persons, young children, or visibly frail individuals (except under exigent circumstances)"

    Whether or not this situation was "exigent" (an emergency) will be up to the review board, I suppose.

    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-R-0068.htm

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • I guess the best method of defusing this situation is to let the old nutty woman fire off 10-15 rounds from her gun,and then just take the unloaded weapon away from her..

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • I don't know and I won't second guess the cops yet because there isn't enough info.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • It was either use a taser on her, or shoot her. They did her a favor, it just unfortunately back fired.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • Most times I hear these stories I'm all pissed off at the police involved.
      In this case I'm thinking: "A bad cop would of shot her."
      They CHOSE to use the tazer, because she was an old lady with a temporary lapse of reasoning. If I'd pulled the same stunt, I would of been shot 47 times.
      verdict: Cops did a good job. Sorry lady.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • Yep. I found some more details and it looks justified. The link is just above your comment.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Think they need a few more bods on that investigation , just to be sure .

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Yea she reached for a gun, they should have shot her not tased her. She was getting special treatment they second they didn't blow her away. If that was a youth of ethnic descent do you think they would have used a taser?

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • So they were racist for not shooting her? Congratulations. You've taken the race card to a new level.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • way to take things into your own context, I am saying a double standard was in effect. Because she was old she was given FAR more lenience than others. Society treats people of different colour and age differently do you agree????? if so how can you deny me saying that if this was a youth of ethnic decent on the porch they probably would have shot him.
      Hey wait a sec I think there is about half a dozen videos on this website of guys on porches reaching for guns getting shot up by a dozen offic More..

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • Well of course they treat people of different ages differently... because age has a direct correlation to mental capacity, especially in the very old and very young. Would you be saying that if it was a five year old waving the gun around instead of an 87 year old?

      The decision to use deadly force is something which the officer often has to decide in the blink of an eye and live with the rest of his life. It was their respect for the woman's age and mental state which caused them to use less- More..

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • If you work hard then someday you can man-up enough to take responsibility for what you say.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • Yes, dance around the topic with some open ended saying.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • I would have shot her. Sorry, old lady or not.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Sarmatae' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'gregory_peckory' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I think they did what they had to.
    The only thing that I disagreed with in the article, was the quote: "Although the incident did not involve the use of lethal force...".
    Taser is lethal force many times. Simple as that. Cops know there is that chance.
    Yet, what else could they do in that situation? I'd say that the Taser at least gave her a chance to come out of it alive.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • should of just started beating the shit out of her with the collapsible baton to quell the masses of anti tazer people. i say we go back to beating the absolute fuck out of non-compliant perps with batons like it's been done for hundreds of years. nothing gets someones attention like a shattered patella.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • i can't resist...

    did she died?

    Posted Jul-10-2010 By 

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  • Cops are just cowards now.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • Seems to me if she had intended to shoot anyone she would have shot the backhoe driver long before the deputies showed up. They talked her into putting the gun down once they could have calmly done it again. Some important details are left out also..was the gun loaded...was the safety on.

    Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • I'll give you a strange gun,and you put it to your head and pull the trigger..After you do that I'll tell you if it was loaded or not

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • So your saying it was loaded. Then I guess you have better info than the rest of us. Anyway the woman according to the article was in poor health and suffering from dementia. She didn't point the gun at them she reached for it. Plus she never fired it so it can be assumed waving it to scare people off was her intent. Common sense would tell you that a taser shock would not be advisable for a frail 85 year old woman. The point is they talked her down once why give up.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • What a bunch of armchair quarterbacks we are.

      Jesus Fucking Christ, someone the police were talking to, who had put down their gun at the request of the police, started to pick their gun back up.

      There's no "crazy guard" on the trigger; the primer will ignite no matter how frail or mis-intentioned the puller of the trigger is. Preventing yourself or neighbors from getting shot means keeping the subject under control.

      Only someone who watches too many movies or otherwise lost More..

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • The first rule of gun safety is:

      1. All guns are always loaded.

      It is a general assumption used for safety. You as an individual must verify if a gun is unloaded. If you can not verify this, you must assume the gun is loaded.

      If you are not familiar with this rule, then you are not familiar with guns. Google gun safety rules, the wording may vary, but the premise is always the same. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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    • Word.

      Posted Jul-9-2010 By 

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  • My ex-wife lives there. Why couldn't it have been her...

    Posted May-15-2013 By 

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