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Cannon challenged deputies to shoot him

Records say Forest Grove resident and ex-Hillsboro cop surrendered with family after shootout


by: COURTESY OF ALANA AMBROSE - Former Hillsboro Police Officer Timothy Cannon in an undated photo when he was still a member of the department.In the past week, dozens of details about the Jan. 20 police shootout in Forest Grove have emerged, but none more chilling than a reported exchange between Hillsboro Officer Stephen Slade and his extremely agitated and heavily armed off-duty colleague, Timothy Cannon.

Slade was yelling to Cannon, who was on the second floor of his home, where his wife and young daughter, fearing for their lives, had barricaded themselves inside a bathroom. According to an affidavit, Slade was urging Cannon to surrender.

"You guys are going to have to come up here and kill me," Cannon shouted back. After Slade told Cannon they were not going to do that, Cannon reportedly responded, "I am going to come down there and kill you, then."

Cannon was indicted Jan. 30 on 24 felony counts, including 11 counts of attempted aggravated murder, in Washington County Circuit Court. He pleaded not guilty to all charges (See sidebar). He sustained minor injuries in the standoff, as did one county sheriff’s deputy. No one was shot, even though 10 officers, plus Cannon, discharged their weapons.

Cannon resigned his position with Hillsboro Police effective Jan. 22. He remains in the Washington County Jail with bail set at $2.8 million.

Many details of the incident won't be known until Cannon's trial begins this spring. But a pair of affidavits unsealed late last week — as well as new information from Forest Grove officers who were the first to arrive on the scene — paint a frightening picture of the events that unfolded that Sunday evening, when officers from three local police agencies responded to a frantic 9-1-1 call.

9-1-1 call

Documents report that Lisa Marie Cannon, who works for the Forest Grove Police Department, and her husband argued after she returned from a police event around 8 p.m. the night of the incident and that Lisa Cannon threw her cell phone at her husband after he accused her of not returning his text messages.

Tim Cannon pinned his wife to the floor before she grabbed their six-year-old daughter and retreated to a master bedroom bathroom upstairs.

Lisa Cannon called 9-1-1 from the couple's home in The Parks neighborhood near Forest Grove High School shortly after 8:30 p.m. to report a domestic disturbance. She told police her husband "had been drinking on and off for the past week" and that "things had gotten physical," according to documents released by Washington County Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlon Feb. 1.

A transcript of the call, summarized in one of the affidavits, revealed that officers knew Lisa Cannon had a handgun, while her husband was armed with handguns and an AR-15 carbine.

Aware that Lisa Cannon was holed up in a bathroom "behind three locked doors," the four Forest Grove officers who initially responded to the call "walked into a completely dark house" and heard Tim Cannon chambering ammunition into a weapon, Capt. Mike Herb, the department's public information officer, said Tuesday.

Within moments of arriving at the house, the situation "quickly escalated," he said, with officers learning that Tim Cannon was trying to break into the area where Lisa Cannon and her daughter were hiding.

After entering the house, officers attempted to get Tim Cannon to talk with them, but he instead challenged them — as he later did with Officer Slade — to kill him or risk being killed.

The four officers called for backup as Cannon, who knew the layout of his home, was able to conceal himself "from a constantly changing position of high ground in an upstairs stairwell and in areas blocking the only available path of escape" for Lisa Cannon and her child, according to Herb.

He "had a clear tactical advantage," Herb said.

Shot through walls Documents indicate that Cannon was shooting at responding officers and that they were returning fire, trying to stop him.

One of the investigators, Beaverton Police Officer Michael Purdy, identified Robert Richards, a Washington County sheriff's deputy, as a person Tim Cannon allegedly attempted to kill during the incident. Purdy said Richards reported seeing "bullets go through sheetrock … and into the floor three feet in front of (officers)."

The documents also suggest that alcohol may have been a factor. Lisa Cannon told Beaverton Police Det. Madalyn Brown during an interview Jan. 21 that her husband had been consuming alcohol on Jan. 19 and that she believed he had also been drinking the next day.

Tigard Police Officer Yonsoo Lee, a detective with the Washington County Major Crimes Team, testified in a Jan. 23 search warrant affidavit that medications prescribed to Tim Cannon — including antidepressants, sedatives, muscle relaxants and antibiotics — were found in his kitchen. Three of the drugs "have the potential for unwanted side effects, particularly when consumed with alcohol, and can result in an altered mental status," Lee wrote. Lee's search warrant application also sought the seizure of numerous items connected to the investigation, including a 2004 Nissan Murano automobile registered to Tim Cannon, alcohol containers, prescription and non-prescription medications, cell phones, computers, photos, guns, ammunition casings and DNA evidence. Surrenders with family

Documents indicate Tim Cannon eventually located his wife and daughter in the upstairs bathroom to which they had fled, but said he would not harm them and allowed Lisa Cannon to pat him down for firearms. Finding none, she locked arms with her husband and their daughter and the three walked downstairs together as she yelled to officers that he was unarmed and not to shoot.

Tim Cannon reportedly resisted arrest as officers took him into custody at 10:54 p.m. The affidavit says he was transported to Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro the same night, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released to the county jail.

All the Forest Grove officers placed on administrative leave following the shootout were returned to full duty this week, Herb said.

Appearing by video feed before Judge Charles Bailey at his arraignment in Washington County Circuit Court last Wednesday, Timothy Cannon entered a plea of not guilty on all counts.

Attorney Ray Bassel of the Hillsboro firm Bassel & Rawls represented Cannon, who wore an orange and white striped jumpsuit as he sat for the camera. Asked by Bailey if he understood what had occurred during the brief proceeding, Cannon replied, “Yes, sir.” Bailey set a trial date of March 19 for Cannon, who is accused of 11 counts of attempted aggravated murder (a felony); 11 counts of unlawful use of a firearm (a felony); one count of first degree aggravated animal abuse (a felony); one count of first degree animal abuse (a misdemeanor); one count of fourth degree felony assault; and one count of harassment (a misdemeanor).

The indictment, handed down by Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Hanlon, accuses Cannon of “unlawfully and maliciously” killing a cat the night of Jan. 20, the evening his wife called 9-1-1. It also says Cannon assaulted Lisa Cannon in the presence of the couple’s young daughter and that he subjected his wife to “offensive physical contact.”

Cannon is accused of trying to kill officers Charles McCutchen, Gary Anderson, Jenifer Smith, Ryan Wolf and Matthew Jacobsen, all of the Forest Grove Police Department; Stephen Slade of the Hillsboro Police Department; and Mark Trost, Micah Akin, Austin Allen, and Justin Snyder of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The indictment says Cannon also attempted to kill Robert Richards, another law enforcement officer not identified in the charging document.

Forest Grove and Hillsboro police, as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the emergency at the Cannon’s home on 37th Avenue near Forest Grove High School. Cannon and an unidentified sheriff’s deputy were injured in the 80-minute incident, during which multiple weapons were discharged.

Ten officers were put on administrative leave following the shootout.

— Nancy Townsley

About 150 people have stepped up to help Lisa Cannon, wife of former Hillsboro police officer Timothy Cannon, and the couple's two children in the aftermath of a Jan. 20 law enforcement-involved shootout at their home in Forest Grove.

Tim Cannon remains in the Washington County Jail on multiple counts of attempted aggravated murder and assault in connection with the incident.

Nine teams of volunteers are purchasing food, preparing frozen dinners, delivering meals and helping to repair the Cannon's home on 37th Avenue near Forest Grove High School, which was badly damaged by bullets fired during the 80-minute standoff two weeks ago.

They were organized by Alana Ambrose, a former emergency response manager at Intel Corp. and the wife of Officer Vin Ambrose, Tim Cannon's former partner at the Hillsboro Police Department.

"We were involved from the get-go," she said Sunday.

A crew has already picked up debris at the house and prepared it for construction teams, which will replace furniture, repair sheetrock and deep-clean the residence before Lisa Cannon and the children return to live there.

"That night Lisa and the children's life was shattered," Alana Ambrose said. "Unlike many of us, they no longer have a husband or dad to come home to, and Lisa went from two incomes to one income overnight."

Ambrose has also established an account at Bank of the West, called "Lisa Cannon Supporters," to collect donations for the family.

Lisa Cannon is unable to visit Tim Cannon at the jail and "no messages can be passed between them" because she is listed as a victim in the investigation, according to Alana. "(Lisa) loves her husband with all her heart," she said, "but they can't see each other until this trial is over."

Tim Cannon's criminal trial is set to begin March 19 in Washington County Circuit Court.

Meanwhile, Vin Ambrose is reeling from his partner's arrest.

"Vin and Tim backed each other up on all their calls," Alana Ambrose said, adding that she and Vin were in Cornelius when shots rang out at the Cannon home. "That night Vin thought he was going to listen to his best buddy be killed.

"I've watched my husband crumble because of this. It's brought him to his knees."

— Nancy Townsley




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