Police ID man killed in I-84 shootout with trooper - KPTV - FOX 12

Police ID man killed in I-84 shootout with trooper

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John Allen II // Photo: Oregon State Police John Allen II // Photo: Oregon State Police
THE DALLES, OR (KPTV) -

A Portland man who died in a freeway shootout with police while his three kids were in the car has been identified as 34-year-old John Allen II.

Oregon State Police said Trooper Matthew Zistel, 26, was working construction zone safety near The Dalles when he stopped Allen for speeding just before 1 p.m. Thursday.

When Zistel exited his patrol car, Allen stepped out and shot at him, police said. Zistel returned fire, and officers said the two exchanged more than one round from their handguns.

About one minute after making the traffic stop, Zistel radioed to dispatch and said he was shot in his left side and the suspect drove away.

Backup officers from several police agencies from Oregon and Washington rushed to the scene and found Allen's car stopped on the right eastbound shoulder about a half-mile from the scene.

When officers checked the car, they found Allen slumped over the steering wheel. His three children - a 10-year-old girl, a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy - were not hurt. They were placed in Department of Human Services custody on Thursday night.

"This isn't like him to do anything like this. He's not really a violent person. He's very respectful," said Kasmira Hamlet, Van Allen's cousin. "He was an ordained minister. So we're just trying to figure out what happened."

Hamlet said her cousin just moved to Portland from Pennsylvania last year for a fresh start. She has no idea where he was going on I-84 Thursday. She said he was a pastor in his 20s and also spent time in the army.

An autopsy confirmed Allen died from a single gunshot wound to the chest, and police said it appeared the wound came from Zistel's gunfire.

Allen previously lived in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, but he most recently lived in the Portland area.

Zistel has been with Oregon State Police for five years and is married with no children. He was treated and released Thursday night from Mid-Columbia Medical Center for what police described as a "minor gunshot wound injury."

The total number of shots fired during the confrontation isn't being released. A multi-agency investigation is now being conducted into Zistel's use of force during the traffic stop. Interstate 84 closed down near the shooting scene at Biggs Junction for six hours Thursday.

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