Oregon State Police release video of August 29 highway shooting that took veteran’s life

By Matt Gutman and Alexis Shaw, ABC News, Oct. 5, 2013

Oregon State Police released shocking footage of a deadly shootout that took place between a state trooper and an Army veteran after the officer pulled the man over for speeding.

The video, which was released Thursday, starts with Trooper Matt Zistel, 26, stopping a Cadillac speeding down I-84.

The driver, 34-year-old John Van Allen, is seen getting out of the car. But when Zistel asks him to get back inside his vehicle, Van Allen pulls out a gun and starts shooting.

After shots were exchanged, Van Allen got back into his car and drove off. While Zistel was shot in the side, it turns out he also struck the shooter as well.

Allen was found dead inside his car just half a mile away from the scene, police said in a news release. An autopsy revelaed he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Zistel was treated for a minor gunshot wound.

The incident, which occurred Aug. 29, was investigated and in September Sherman County District Attorney Wade McLeod determined that Zistel was justified in firing at Allen, The Oregonian reported.

“We hope for the best but we train and we prepare for the worst,” Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. homicide detective, told ABC News. “Unfortunately in this case, that motorist decided to use deadly force against a police officer. “

The Army veteran’s three children — a 10-year-old girl and two boys, ages 13 and 15 — were in the back seat of the car when the gunfire erupted, police said. While they were unharmed, they have been placed in state custody.

While the incident transpired Aug. 29, officials did not release the video until the investigation was completed.