Investigative documents released last week show that the main eyewitness in the Silverton police shooting, town resident Jeff DeSantis, had connections to the case that have not been revealed to the public before now.
DeSantis saw the shooting from about 35 feet away and backed Silverton Police Officer Tony Gonzalez’s version of events both in police statements and in testimony before the grand jury.
A news release issued by the Marion County District Attorney’s office after the grand jury’s ruling portrayed DeSantis as a random passerby who stumbled across the shooting. It specifically noted that he did not know Gonzalez or the slain suspect, Andrew James Hanlon.
But the documents reveal that DeSantis is a business partner of the man whose home Hanlon had been trying to break into that evening.
He and Josiah Kelley were working at their business, a small brewery called Seven Brides Brewing, the evening of June 30 when Kelley received a terrified call from his family about the attempted break-in. Hanlon had been screaming and baying at their door, slamming and kicking it hard enough to leave behind smeared blood.
DeSantis followed Kelley home out of concern, and happened across the shooting as he was driving down Oak Street in his truck “to see if this guy had gone down the hill,” Woodburn Detective Rick Puente wrote following his interview with DeSantis.
The deputy district attorneys who wrote the earlier news release were not available for comment Friday.
Other Documents Provided Online by the Salem Statesman Journal
Photo Galleries – Salem Statesman Journal
Police Reports – Investigations
* 911 Call – June 30, 2008: The night of the shooting
* 911 Call – April 6, 2008: Hanlon’s family calls police
* Woodburn Police Department Reports
* Press Release from Marion County District Attorney’s office
* Keizer Police Department Reports
* Oregon State Police Reports
* Salem Police Reports
* Stayton Police Reports
* Silverton Police Reports
* Marion County Sheriff’s Office Reports
Related Newspaper Articles
* Video: Excerpts of Tony Gonzalez interview, Part III
* Video: Excerpts of Tony Gonzalez interview, Part II
* Video: Excerpts of Tony Gonzalez interview, Part I
* Officers weigh many factors in use of force
* Family still has questions about shooting
* Grand jury calls fatal Silverton shooting justified
* Grand jury declines to indict Silverton police officer
* Hearing expands charges against officer
* Silverton Police Officer Tony Gonzalez indicted on charges involving sex-abuse
* Silverton police fear damage to reputation
* Shooting case to be weighed next week
* Judge withholds bail for Silverton officer
* Behind the badge: A closer look at Tony Gonzalez
* Video: Public responds to Gonzalez arraignment, II
* Video: Judge denies bail for Silverton police officer
* Video: Public responds to Gonzalez arraignment, I
* Silverton officer now faces sex charges
* Family, friends mourn loss
* Family demands answers
* Video: Irish national’s mother arrives in Oregon
* Video: Friend describes Andrew James Hanlon
* Tensions mount in police shooting
* Police group backs officer in shooting
* Inquiry into fatal shooting nears end
* Officers now educated in mental illness
* Shooting in Silverton echoes in Ireland
* Answers sought in Silverton shooting
* Burglary call ends with fatal shooting