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Police shooting involved former local officer

Trooper treated and released


The officer involved in the shooting Aug. 29, on Interstate 84 east of Biggs, was a former Culver man.

According to Oregon State Police reports, trooper Matthew Zistel, 26, who grew up in Culver, was working overtime traffic enforcement in a construction zone on I-84, just before 1 p.m. on Aug. 29, when he stopped an eastbound vehicle near milepost 106 for a speeding violation.

When Zistel got out of his patrol car, the driver also got out of his vehicle and fired his handgun at Zistel, who returned fire. Both fired more than one shot.

Zistel, who was struck on his left side, immediately radioed for help when the driver got back in his vehicle and left the scene, headed eastbound.

Law enforcement officers from Oregon and Washington responded to the scene, and pursued the vehicle, which was located about a half-mile away, pulled over to the right side of the road.

When officers made contact with the driver, they found him slumped over the steering wheel, and attempted to revive him. The driver, John Van Allen II, 34, recently of Portland, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver's three children, boys ages 15 and 13, and a girl, 10, who were accompanying him in the vehicle, were not injured and were placed in the custody of the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Zistel, who has worked for OSP for five years, and was assigned to The Dalles Area Command office, was transported to Mid-Columbia Medical Center, where he was treated for a minor gunshot wound and later released.

In the meantime, police had notified Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins of the incident.

"It was heart-wrenching, because I know Matt, and his mom works for me, and we did not know how serious it was at first report," said Adkins."We got busy contacting Melody and getting her en route to The Dalles."

He said on Friday that she intended to stay with her son over the weekend.

Allen previously lived in South Carolina and Pennsylvania. The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office completed the autopsy on Allen on Friday and concluded that he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

The preliminary investigation determined that he was shot by the trooper during the exchange of gunfire. The incident remains under investigation.

Agencies responding to the incident included OSP, sheriff's offices from Sherman, Wasco, Klickitat, Washington, Gilliam and Hood River counties, The Dalles, Hood River and Hermiston police departments, the Sherman County District Attorney's Office and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Both lanes of the interstate were closed for about five hours, while police investigated the incident.




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