Parents say son killed in Oak Grove SWAT standoff was a 'bright - KPTV - FOX 12

Parents say son killed in Oak Grove SWAT standoff was a 'bright boy' in 'mental crisis'

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Chris Kalonji, family photo Chris Kalonji, family photo
Scene of officer-involved shooting at Oak Grove apartment complex. Scene of officer-involved shooting at Oak Grove apartment complex.
Scene of officer-involved shooting at Oak Grove apartment complex Scene of officer-involved shooting at Oak Grove apartment complex

The family of a 19-year-old killed in an officer-involved shooting at an Oak Grove apartment complex said they are eager for the official investigation to be complete.

Christopher Kalonji, 19, was having a mental health crisis and engaged officers in a standoff for hours at the Holly Acres Apartments on Southeast Concord Road in Oak Grove last Thursday.

The deputies involved in the shooting are on leave while the Clackamas County Major Crimes team investigates, which is standard procedure.

“My son had mental crisis, like breakdown,” his father, Tony Kalonji, read from a written statement. “He ask get medical help. After 911 was called, police came and my son was killed. I want to show people how does it look, our apartment and room where my son was killed and after police search.”

Tony Kalonji and his wife, Irene Kalonji, showed a FOX 12 crew around their apartment Tuesday afternoon.

Furniture was upturned and the door frame to their son’s bedroom is broken from where deputies used an explosive to breach the door. 

A framed picture of Christopher Kalonji sat on a table in the kitchen.

“Our son was so bright boy. He loves life. He likes people. He likes to help people. He was so smart,” said his mother, Irene Kalonji.

Clackamas County deputies first responded at 7:35 a.m. Thursday to a report of a man armed with a rifle who had reportedly threatened family members.

Deputies determined he was having a mental health crisis and called for police negotiators and mental health personnel.

The Kalonjis said their son was having a breakdown and had access to family guns inside their apartment, but they said he would never have hurt them.

“We were not hostages and we were not threatened,” Irene Kalonji said.

The family left the apartment after law enforcement arrived.

A sheriff’s office spokesman said negotiators and staff from the Behavioral Health Unit initially had significant success communicating with Christopher Kalonji, providing him with a blanket and sending a sergeant to get him a burger and French fries after he requested the three items.

The SWAT team was also called in.

At one point, Christopher Kalonji was complying with orders and started to climb out of his window onto a ladder, but for unknown reasons went back into the apartment and grabbed the rifle, prompting deputies to fire at him, according to the sheriff’s office.

For the next four hours, a spokesman said the team continued trying to get Christopher Kalonji to communicate with them, but he would not comply with their orders.

They eventually made it inside the apartment.

Christopher Kalonji was transported to a hospital, where he died.

Plans for a funeral service are underway.

A friend has set up a GoFundMe account for the family.

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