Borner, who pulled a cell phone from his pocket, but acted as if it were a gun, threatened police several times and disobeyed police commands prior to being shot to death, according to a report released Friday by the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office.
On the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 20, Borner was reported to law enforcement for allegedly stealing a vehicle. Police found Borner at a home in the 1600 block of Portland Street. Borner fled from the front door and was pursued by police officers.
According to the report, Borner was stopped by a wire gate. He turned and began to approach Det. Peter York, saying, “I’m going to shoot you.”
York told Borner to “get on the ground” twice. But Borner reached into his pocket and began fumbling with an object. He pulled his hand from his pocket along with a black object — a cell phone.
York fired four shots, striking Borner in the chest twice. He would later die from those injuries at the scene, the report said.
Law enforcement had several contacts with Borner, dating back to 1982, court records show. He was flagged as a high officer safety risk, allegedly telling friends and family that he would “commit suicide by cop,” the report stated.
Borner was additionally being looked at by federal investigators.
Oregon State Police took the lead in the investigation. Their findings and facts were presented to a grand jury Thursday. Eleven witnesses were called to testify, including York, five other KFPD officers, one Oregon State Police trooper, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and three members of the public.
The grand jury found York’s actions were justified in using deadly physical force and within the bounds of Oregon law.
“(Investigators) canvassed the local neighborhood, talked to Borner’s family members and interviewed responding officers,” said District Attorney Rob Patridge in a press release. “It’s unfortunate that a career criminal chose to end his life by threatening a dedicated police officer. Det. York is a family man who served our country as a decorated United States Marine. Matt Borner was a coward, thief and a drug dealer who has forever negatively impacted all the citizens of Klamath County by his actions.”
“Nobody wants to take a life,” Police Chief Jim Hunter said Friday. “This is the last thing we want to do. It’s regrettable when people force us by their actions to take the action that we did.”
After nearly two weeks on paid administrative leave, York will be back on duty Tuesday. Eight pending cases in the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office against Borner have been dismissed.
WATCH – Grand jury finds officer-involved shooting justified
Klamath Falls police shot and killed a man suspected of stealing a car
Officers responded to the 1600 block of Portland Street Tuesday morning to investigate reports of a vehicle stolen by Matthew David Borner, 52, of Klamath Falls, Oregon State Police said. Borner had an outstanding parole violation warrant from an April conviction in Klamath County Circuit Court for possession of methamphetamine, court records show.
Klamath Falls officers got into an altercation with Borner as they were trying to arrest him, state police said. During the incident, Borner was fatally shot.
No officers were injured and the ones involved have been placed on paid administrative leave until an investigation is complete. Further details on the incident have not been released.
Borner has had a series of run-ins with the law in Klamath County, court records show.
He was facing delivery of meth, unlawful manufacture of meth, possession of meth and felon in possession of a firearm charges in connection with an arrest in February. He was also facing separate delivery of meth, possession of meth and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance charges from a May arrest.
He pleaded not guilty to charges in both cases, court records show.
Between 2009 and 1990, Borner has several other convictions for theft, robbery, forgery and meth-related charges.