Police ID man shot, killed in Salem; suspect charged with mansla - KPTV - FOX 12

Police ID man shot, killed in Salem; suspect charged with manslaughter

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Scene of deadly shooting in Salem. (KPTV) Scene of deadly shooting in Salem. (KPTV)
Christopher Gerberding, jail booking photo Christopher Gerberding, jail booking photo
SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Police have identified the 30-year-old man who was shot and killed in Salem early Wednesday morning.

Police said Christopher Gerberding, 32, shot Manuel Zavala of Salem near Taybin Road Northwest and Calico Street Northwest at 3:27 a.m. Wednesday.

Gerberding called 911 and was found on his hands and knees screaming hysterically next to Zavala's body when officers arrived, according to court documents.

Gerberding told detectives he had been confronted by homeless people as he walked on a trail near Wallace Marine Park prior to the shooting, according to a probable cause affidavit. He said one person punched him and multiple people escorted him away from their camp and back to the park.

Gerberding said he then began to urinate on a tree near a maintenance shed at an apartment complex adjacent to the park when someone grabbed his shoulders from behind, according to the affidavit.

Gerberding told officers he didn't know if it was one of the homeless people or someone else. Court documents state Gerberding believed the man "advanced on him," so he pulled his gun and shot the man several times.

The man did not say anything to Gerberding during the incident, according to court documents.

Gerberding was arraigned in court Thursday on charges of first-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon.

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