What Happened to Brian Babb

Brian Babb

Brian Babb

Brian Babb

DA receives report on fatal police shooting

Gardner will now review the investigation and say whether the use of force was justified

The Register-Guard, April 14, 2015

A detective said Monday that an interagency team has submitted to the Lane County District Attorney’s Office the report on its investigation of a March 30 shooting in which Eugene resident Brian Babb was killed by a police officer.

District Attorney Alex Gardner will review the investigation and decide whether the Eugene police officer’s use of deadly force was justified under state law.

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns said after the shooting that the unidentified officer shot Babb, 49, once after Babb came to his front door and pointed a rifle at the officer. Babb was pronounced dead at the scene. A therapist had called police to Babb’s west Eugene home after reporting that he was suicidal and had fired a gun in his home.

Babb, a 1983 Churchill High School graduate whose family owns Delta Sand & Gravel, was a former Oregon Army National Guard captain who served in Afghanistan in 2006. He was injured from the blast of a roadside bomb and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, his family said.

The officer remains on paid administrative leave, standard protocol in the wake of officer-involved shootings.

Oregon State Police Sgt. Andy Kenyon, lead detective for the Lane County Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team, said the team delivered its report Monday, but he declined to discuss its contents, saying the investigation is still considered active.

Kenyon did say that the armored vehicle used during the incident was equipped with a video camera, but it was parked behind a tall fence before and during the shooting.

“There isn’t really much to review from the video,” he said.

It’s unknown when Gardner will announce his decision. Gardner said in an email late Monday that he intends to start reviewing the reports today and will make an announcement when the review is completed.

Kenyon said the inter­agency team typically meets with the district attorney to go over a report in person before a decision is announced.

Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said in an email that the department is waiting until after Gardner’s review to release the name of the officer “due to threats made against the officer’s life.” She declined to elaborate.

The department normally releases the name of an officer involved in a shooting after the officer’s interview with investigators, McLaughlin said. Such interviews take place no sooner than 48 hours after a shooting, unless waived by the officer, to allow the officer time to emotionally decompress.

The therapist called officers to Babb’s home on the 2200 block of Devos Street about 5 p.m. on March 30, a Monday.

A crisis negotiator on the scene attempted to talk with Babb, but Kerns said the communication was limited and “not productive.” Babb’s roommate was able to leave the home, police said.

The officer was standing in the roof hatch of the armored vehicle between 100 and 200 feet away from the front door, the police chief said, and he was the only one who could see Babb.

Kerns said at the time that his department based its initial account of the shooting on radio traffic because the officer hadn’t yet been inter­viewed.

EPD Releases Details in Officer Involved Shooting

KDRV.com, April 2, 2015

Officers at the scene of Brian Babb's death.

Officers at the scene of Brian Babb’s death.

We’re learning new information on an officer involved shooting in the Bethel area Monday night.

Police are now talking about what led up the shooting death of Brian Babb.

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns says the call came in just after 5 p.m. Monday night at a home in the 2200 block of Devos Street.

He says Babb was on the phone with his counselor.

That counselor then called 9-1-1 after Babb said he was feeling suicidal and fired a shot inside his house.

Kerns says crisis negotiators tried to work with Babb but were unsuccessful.

Police sent out an armored car to assist in the situation, asking for everyone in the house to come out unarmed.

Babb’s roommate came out and then Babb came to the door.

“Only the officer who was in the roof hatch could see Mr. Babb so we only know, we don’t yet know what he saw he hasn’t been interviewed. What we learned from radio traffic is that Mr. Babb aimed or pointed a rifle at the officer and the officer responded by shooting on Mr. Babb,” said Kerns.

Kerns says the armored car was more than 100 feet away from Babb when the fatal shot was fired.

He says the armored car was driven to the front door to administer aid But babb had already died.

Kerns says EPD has had another investigation involving Babb.

In officer involved shootings a special team investigates before it goes onto the district attorney who will review for criminal or administrative charges.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has not been identified as of yet.

Kerns says that could happen within the coming days.

That officer remains on administrative leave during the investigation.


DOWNLOADEugene Police News Release, April 1, 2015 (PDF, 117KB)


Man shot dead by Eugene police pointed rifle at officer, police say

The Oregonian, April 1, 2015

Eugene police have identified the man a police officer shot dead Monday afternoon as 49-year-old Brian Babb.

The shooting stemmed from a local therapist’s 9-1-1 call at 5:06 p.m.  The therapist said her emotionally distressed client was on the phone and had shot a firearm in his home. Police visited Babb’s home on the 2200 block of Devos Street in Eugene, accompanied by an armored vehicle.

Babb’s call with the therapist was switched over to a crisis negotiator, who was unsuccessful in attempts to negotiate with him….Continue reading at OregonLive.com

AUDIO:  Army Veteran Fatally Shot By Eugene Police Officer

KLCC.org, April 1, 2015

The man fatally shot by a Eugene Police officer Monday was an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2006.  Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns spoke publicly about the incident Wednesday.

Police describe events leading up to deadly shooting

KVAL.com, April 1, 2015

Eugene Police released more details about the sequence of events that led an officer to fatally shoot a man in West Eugene on Monday.

Police said responding officers were informed the subject had already discharged a firearm inside the home.

“It’s very rare to go to a call where the person has discharged a firearm before we arrived, so all of those factors increase the risk to the community tremendously,” Police Chief Pete Kerns said Wednesday.

The deceased has been identified as 49-year-old Brian Babb.

Neighbors on Devos Street in the Bethel neighborhood said Babb was a combat veteran who suffered from mental health issues related to his service.

The identity of the officer who shot Babb has not yet been released.

Police released this account Wednesday:

At 5:06 p.m. on March 30, Central Lane 9-1-1 received a call from a local therapist, who had a client on the phone in emotional distress and who had shot a round from a firearm in his home.

Officers responded to the home, along with an armored vehicle due to the information that a shot had been fired in an area where there were many residential homes.

The call was switched from the therapist to a crisis negotiation team member.

Attempts to negotiate with the subject, Brian Babb, age 49, were not successful.

As police did not know if others were present in the home, they tried to hail occupants out.

A roommate of Babb’s came out and was taken into protection inside the armored rescue vehicle.

As officers were contemplating what to do next to best defuse the encounter, Babb arrived at the front door.

According to radio traffic, Babb pointed the rifle at an officer, who shot Babb. Babb was declared deceased by medics.

The officer, who is not being publicly identified until after he is interviewed by the investigation team, is on paid administrative leave. This is standard protocol for officer-involved shooting investigations.

Interagency Deadly Use of Force Investigation Team was called in to provide an independent Investigation per IDFIT protocols and state law.

Neighbors: Man fatally shot by police was a combat veteran with PTSD

KVAL.com, March 31, 2015

The man shot and killed by a police officer Monday was a military veteran struggling with mental health issues, neighbors and family told KVAL News.

Police have not yet released the man’s identity, citing efforts to notify his family out of state.

Family and neighbors in the Bethel neighborhood of West Eugene said the man suffered from post-traumatic stress, for which he sought treatment from the Veterans Administration.

Eugene Police initially said they would be able to release more information about the shooting Tuesday afternoon. Any new official release of information won’t likely happen until Wednesday, police later said.

Under state law, the shooting is under investigation by Lane County’s Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team.

The results of that investigation will be forwarded to the district attorney for review.

A final report could take some time: the report on a deadly November 2013 officer-involved shooting outside Churchill High School came almost a month after the incident.

Neighbors of the man on Devos Street are anxious to learn more.

“I want to know answers. I want to know the truth. I want to know: was he really a threat?” said neighbor Reina Elam. “Answers like that would be really nice to get so that we can be at ease and comfort knowing that our cops did do something – did do the right thing.”

Eugene Police said officers were responding to a reportedly suicidal subject on Devos Street around 5 o’clock Monday night when an officer took that fatal shot.

“The roommate is saying, ‘I should have just grabbed him and pulled him back in’ because he was just saying, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. Get off, off my property. Get off my property’,” said an aunt of the deceased who asked not to be identified by name while family members are notified.

Those who knew the man say the veteran returned home from combat with injuries.

“Unfortunately he suffered the worst tragedy that anyone can think of. It’s very sad,” neighbor Norma Roque said. “I just hope that each of us can process this tragedy and focus on our families because our families are number one. We have to help each other best we can.”

Eugene police officer fatally shoots man reported to be suicidal

The Oregonian, March 30, 2015

A Eugene police officer fatally shot a man reported to be suicidal Monday afternoon, according to the city’s police department.

The shooting occurred just after 5:05 p.m. in the Bethel area, Melinda McLaughlin, a Eugene Police spokeswoman, said in a news release. McLaughlin did not say whether the man was armed or provide any details about what led to the shooting. She also did not specify whether he died at the scene.

The man’s name was not released, pending family notifications. No officers were injured during the incident. The Interagency Deadly Use of Force Investigation Team is investigating.


Eugene PD: Officer fatally shoots reportedly suicidal man

KVAL.com, March 30, 2015


A Eugene police spokeswoman says an officer has fatally shot a reportedly suicidal man.

Spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin says the shooting in the Bethel neighborhood happened shortly after 5 p.m. Monday.

McLaughlin says police had responded to a call about a suicidal person.

Neither the dead man nor the officer was immediately identified. No officers were injured.

The spokeswoman says an interagency team will investigate the shooting.

“Currently the scene is being processed,” Lt. Scott Fellman said at the scene Monday. “We’ve got our major collisions investigation team out doing a digital mapping of the scene. And as I mentionted the IDFIT team is doing their investigation, talking to witnesses and putting together the details of what happened.”