Milwaukie landlord says he killed tenant in 'self-defense' - KPTV - FOX 12

Milwaukie landlord says he killed tenant in 'self-defense'

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Gerald Miller said he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed his tenant, Ricky McKowen, on Sunday. (KPTV) Gerald Miller said he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed his tenant, Ricky McKowen, on Sunday. (KPTV)

The Milwaukie landlord charged with shooting and killing his tenant said it was self-defense.

Gerald Miller, 66, owns a home on Southeast Oatfield Road and he’s been renting a room to 53-year-old Ricky McKowen for three years. But Miller said from jail Monday that McKowen hasn’t paid rent in over a year and he has severe anger problems. He said he’s tried to evict McKowen several times, but the situation always turned to violent threats.

Asked if he lived in fear the whole time, Miller said, “Hell yes! That’s why I blocked the doors. That’s why I carried my gun every time I left the house. I kept it under my pillow because I never knew what he was going to do.”

Miller said McKowen threatened to kill him several times and even pulled a knife on him.

Miller finally took McKowen to court last month and a judge ordered McKowen to move out within 12 days. Miller said McKowen was suppose to be out by Sunday night, but instead, he claims he woke up to McKowen pounding on his door and yelling threats - this time, targeting Miller’s daughter.

“He said, ‘I’m going to wait for you and I’m going to kill you mother [expletive]! And I’m going to kill your [expletive] daughter!’ I said Rick, please calm down. And he says, ‘mother [expletive], I’m going to kill you!’ And he starts coming into the kitchen and I didn’t know if he had a knife – I couldn’t tell. So I just, you know, I defended myself.”

Miller said he shot McKowen four times in the torso and then called 911. Deputies arrived around 10:30 a.m. and Miller surrendered peacefully.

Asked if he warned McKowen that he had a gun, Miller said, “No, no. I should’ve done something. I shouldn’t have opened the door. I should’ve left when he was mad. All sorts of things are going through my head now, but, you know.”

Miller did call police about McKowen in the past, but he said they never arrested him and it only made things worse. He has serious regrets about the shooting, but in the moment, Miller feels he had no other choice.

“It was kind of like I had tunnel vision,” said Miller. “I was just trying to stop him from killing me.”

Miller was arraigned on charges of murder and unlawful use of a weapon. He’s being held in the Clackamas County Jail without bail.

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