What happened to Tim Fight

Beaverton Sgt. Richard Preim and Officer Matt Weaving, who have more than 13 years of experience between them, were given the Gold Medal of Valor for “their courageous acts… under hostile fire,” said Mark Hyde, Beaverton police spokesman.

BEAVERTON POLICE FATALLY SHOOT MAN – THE VICTIM SHOT AT OFFICERS, WHO HAD BROKEN DOWN HIS DOOR TO ARREST HIM ON A FELONY WARRANT

From the Oregonian, July 27, 1998

Beaverton police shot and killed a 29-year-old man late Sunday after he fired at them when they broke down the door of his house to arrest him on a felony warrant.

The names of the dead man and the police officers involved were not immediately released.

Beaverton police last shot and killed a suspect in September 1982.

Beaverton police are conducting an internal investigation to determine which officer or officers fired the fatal shot or shots and how many shots were fired.

The case will be turned over to a Washington County grand jury to determine if the use of deadly force was justified.

Officer Mark Hyde, Beaverton police spokesman, said the incident started at 11:20 p.m. Sunday when a police officer spotted a compact coupe being driven erratically on Southwest Allen Boulevard near Oregon 217.

The police officer broadcast a description of the vehicle and its driver to other Beaverton officers before losing sight of it off Southwest Lee Street.

Hyde said an officer listening in on his radio advised those giving chase that the description of the driver and car matched that of a person he had dealt with before on traffic violations. He told fellow officers that the man lived at 5655 S.W. Lombard Ave., Beaverton.

In the meantime, police checked the man’s record and found that he was wanted on a felony warrant for a parole violation on an assault charge.

At 11:30 p.m., officers went to the house and yelled for the man to come out. He refused.

Hyde said four officers were on the scene, so they decided to kick in the door. “There were plenty of people there at the time,” Hyde said.

The man hadn’t threatened officers when they talked to him through the door, so while they were cautious, they weren’t thinking he was overly dangerous, Hyde said.

“I don’t think anybody would have gone to that extent had he been threatening them,” Hyde said.

But once officers found out that there was a felony warrant on the man, “They had an obligation to go after him,” Hyde said.

When the officers kicked down the door of the man’s house, he immediately opened fire with at least one shot from an unknown caliber gun, Hyde said.

The bullet barely missed the first officers in. Police returned fire, killing the man instantly, Hyde said. There was no one else in the room.

“It was very close, very close,” he said, declining to describe the gunfire that missed the officers in an exact measurement. “I mean it was close.”

Eugene Jacobus, Washington County medical examiner, said the suspect died of multiple gunshot wounds. An autopsy will be conducted later today to determine the exact cause of death.

His name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

“At this point in time, we don’t know many times he was hit,” Jacobus said this morning. “We don’t know if it was in the head or where.”

Hyde said the officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, pending the internal investigation.

Under the deadly force policy of the police, officers can shoot a suspect if they think their lives or someone else’s life is in imminent danger. “And clearly that was the case here,” Hyde said. “The officers first through the door were literally inches away from being the victim in this case.”

In the 1982 fatal shooting, police were tracking a man who robbed the old Rose’s Restaurant in Beaverton Town Square, when he jumped up from a ditch alongside Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and pointed a gun at an officer.

Another officer, C. David Carlson, now with the Salem Police Department, fired three shots, hitting the alleged robber once in the head.


MAN SHOT BY POLICE HAD RUN-IN LAST YEAR

From the Oregonian, July 28, 1998

The 29-year-old man shot and killed Sunday night by Beaverton police threatened different officers last year with a screwdriver and pepper spray, asking police to shoot him and claiming to be the Antichrist.

Timothy Jay Fight died of multiple gunshot wounds after he fired three shots at two officers who broke down a house door to arrest him on a felony warrant.

Beaverton Police Chief David G. Bishop declined to say how many times officers fired back at Fight until the Washington County district attorney’s office reviews the case and determines whether the shooting was justified.

Internal investigators are still interviewing the officers involved in the shooting, said Mark Hyde, Beaverton police spokesman.

“If things end up in radio or in print, that might end up impacting the officers’ recollections,” Hyde said. “We want to make sure they provide us with fresh information.”

The officers, who haven’t been identified, are on paid administrative leave pending the internal investigation.

Hyde gave this account of the incident, which began about 11:20 p.m. Sunday:

Officers spotted someone driving a black compact coupe erratically on Southwest Allen Boulevard near Oregon 217. The driver managed to lose police on Southwest Lee Street, but not before officers matched the car and driver’s description to that of Fight, whom Beaverton police have stopped for various traffic violations.

Previous charges against Fight include reckless driving, hit-and-run and attempts to elude police. In November 1997, Fight led police on a 14-minute chase at speeds reaching 70 mph before he threatened an officer with a screwdriver and pepper spray.

Sunday, as officers were arriving at Fight’s home on 5655 S.W. Lombard Ave., they learned the 29-year-old also was wanted on a felony warrant for a parole violation on a third-degree assault charge.

About 11:30 p.m., the officers yelled for Fight to come out of the house, but he refused.

Two officers decided to kick in the front door, unaware that Fight was armed.

With Fight’s track record, the officers believed waiting for him to come out and possibly giving him a chance to get away would pose a threat to other drivers, Hyde said.

“The greater concern was that if he wasn’t immediately apprehended, he could get back into his car, drive recklessly and end up killing someone,” Hyde said. “Then the issue is `Why didn’t you do something?’ “

Immediately after officers kicked down the door, Fight fired three shots. Police declined to say what type of gun he used. One shot struck a mirror to one side of the door frame, and another hit a clock on the wall next to the door.

The third shot whizzed past police and struck a police car parked outside.

Fight’s mother was in the home at the time of the shooting but was not injured.

Hyde wouldn’t speculate whether Fight was attempting to force police to shoot and kill him.

Such cases can be devastating for police officers, even if they are justified in using deadly force, said Detective Sgt. Cheryl Kanzler, spokeswoman for the Portland Police Bureau.

Portland and Beaverton police, Oregon State Police and other law enforcement agencies operate under policies that justify deadly force to protect a person’s or an officer’s life.

And it isn’t unusual for officers to break down a door to arrest someone wanted on felony warrants, said Lt. Gregg Hastings, spokesman for the Oregon State Police.

Beaverton police last shot and killed a suspect in September 1982. Police were chasing a man who robbed the old Rose’s Restaurant on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway when the suspect pointed a gun at a policeman. Another officer, C. David Carlson, now with the Salem Police Department, fired three shots, hitting the suspect once in the head. A Washington County grand jury ruled no crime was committed in the shooting.

Sometimes, however, deadly force cases don’t end there.

Last month, the wife of a man killed by Portland police two years ago sued the officer and the city for $1 million. Chandra Kibbee claims that officer Thomas Newberry, 45, violated the constitutional rights of her husband, Lynn M. Kibbee, when he shot him to death two years ago. A Multnomah County grand jury chose not to indict Newberry in June 1996.

Sunday’s shooting left neighbors in the Beaverton neighborhood stunned.

“I’m sorry the thing went down like it did,” said 26-year-old Shane Novak, who lives next door to Fight’s home. “But I think the police handled things the best they could.

“The guy didn’t seem to want to end it peacefully.”


BEAVERTON IDENTIFIES OFFICERS IN SHOOTING

From the Oregonian, July 30, 1998

Beaverton police on Wednesday identified the two officers who shot and killed a 29-year-old man, offering more details of what compelled them to break down the door of his home.

Timothy Jay Fight died of multiple gunshot wounds after he fired three shots at the two officers who tried to arrest him Sunday on a felony warrant for third-degree assault.

Neither of the officers — Matthew R. Weaving, 31, and Richard A. Preim, 37 — had been involved in other deadly force shootings while on the Beaverton force, department spokesman Mark Hyde said Wednesday. Weaving has been with Beaverton police for three years, and Preim has served for more than 10.

Hyde said the officers’ forced entry into Fight ‘s home was imperative, especially given the wails coming from inside.

“While they were at the door, someone let out a high-pitched scream, and the officers didn’t know whether it was the mother or the son,” Hyde said.

Fight’s mother was in the small yellow home at the time of the shooting but was not injured.

The officers yelled for her to get down before they fired back at Fight, Hyde said.

The department will not release the number of shots the officers fired or other details about the case until the Washington County district attorney’s office reviews it and determines whether the shooting was justified, Hyde said.

Likewise, Dr. Cliff Nelson, deputy medical examiner, would not release where Fight was shot or how many times.

Rob Bletko, Washington County deputy district attorney, expects to receive reports on the shooting from the Washington County Major Crimes Team today. He will review the investigation reports by the end of next week and decide whether to present the case to a Washington County grand jury.

“If there’s something that would indicate there was an inappropriate use of force, we’ll decide how to deal with that,” Bletko said.

Fight had been driving a black compact coupe erratically on Southwest Allen Boulevard near Oregon 217 when police began tailing his car. The officers matched its description to that of a car owned by Fight, whom Beaverton police had stopped for various traffic violations.

Previous charges against him included reckless driving, hit-and-run and attempts to elude police. In November 1997, Fight led police on a 14-minute chase at speeds reaching 70 mph before he threatened an officer with a screwdriver and pepper spray, claiming to be the Antichrist.

That track record is another reason police felt compelled to arrest Fight on Sunday, fearing that he might leave the house and again drive recklessly, endangering others, Hyde said.

When officers caught up with Fight at his home at 5655 S.W. Lombard Ave., he refused to come out, Hyde said.

So they kicked down the door, unaware that he was armed. That’s when Fight fired the three shots, missing the officers but hitting a mirror to one side of the door frame and a clock on a wall next to the door. The third shot struck a police car parked outside.

This marks the third deadly force shooting by Beaverton police in the past two decades, Hyde said Wednesday.

A Washington County grand jury decided in April 1992 that officers Dennis Marley and Robert Davis were justified in shooting and killing a 48-year-old transient in a heavily wooded area just west of Southwest Murray Boulevard.

The officers were responding to bicyclists’ complaints about a man with a gun when Robert Harvey Rinehart stepped out of a tent and fired at them.

Ten years earlier, Beaverton police were chasing a man who robbed the old Rose’s Restaurant on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway when a suspect pointed a gun at a policeman. Another officer, C. David Carlson, now with the Salem Police Department, fired three shots, hitting the suspect once in the head. A Washington County grand jury ruled that no crime was committed in that shooting.


Timothy Jay Fight

A private service was held for Timothy Jay Fight, who died July 26, 1998, at age 29.

Mr. Fight was born Feb. 4, 1969, in Ames, Iowa, and was raised in Portland. He attended Glencoe High School and received his G.E.D. from Portland Community College. He was a metal recycler.

Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Rose and David Stout of Beaverton; sisters, Gail Dieringer of Portland and Amy of Beaverton; brother, Richard Rose of Woodburn; and grandmother, Lucinda Williams of Bentonville, Ark.

Disposition is by cremation. Arrangements were by Zeller Chapel of the Roses.