Redmond couple grieve loss of friend, neighbor
Say they’d tried to help Michael Gaskill, fatally injured by police car
REDMOND, Ore. – Michael Gaskill, the man hit by a Redmond police car last week, died over the weekend. NewsChannel 21’s Dani Fried spoke Monday with two neighbors who say they’re in shock and looking for answers.
Emotions were raw for Terri Dowling as she listened to the last message Gaskill left her.
“And although he was the nicest, nicest person ever for the past 4 1/2 years, I could see this decline in his mental state,” Dowling said.
It was a sunny Thursday afternoon in Redmond when Terri and her husband Kerry saw Gaskill emerge from his home.
“He pulled his bike out, and all of a sudden, I looked over and his door was open and his bike was gone,” Terri said.
At that moment, the Dowlings, who had been Gaskill’s neighbors for six years, knew something was terribly wrong.
“I said, ‘We’d better go check,'” Kerry said. “Then it was just five minutes after he left, and as soon as we turned onto Canal (Boulevard) to go up towards the hospital, we saw the whole gathering of every police department in Central Oregon, right in front of St. Charles.”
Gaskill has been riding his trike, with gun in hand, in front of St. Charles Redmond, when he was struck by a Redmond police car and rushed into the emergency room.
To the Dowlings, Gaskill was more than a neighbor, he was a friend.
“He was a very mellow kick back guy,,” Terri said. “Loved his guitar, loved to play ‘Smoke on the Water’ — we would hear it from across the street. He would play for our grandchildren. He just loved his music, and we had that in common.” .
Over the years, the Dowlings began taking care of Gaskill.
“He became lucid and in and out of this mental condition,” Terri said.
The couple said they tried their best to get Gaskill the care he needed.
“I felt obligated as a friend as a neighbor, do unto others,” Terri said. “I want to do the right thing and help him along in this illness.”
But they were not immediate family or legal guardians, which made it difficult for them to step up and take care of him.
Armed man hit by Redmond police car identified – Bend Bulletin
Michael W. Gaskill is in critical condition; two officers on paid leave