DA: Officers justified in shooting man who shot wife and trooper - KPTV - FOX 12

DA: Officers justified in shooting man who shot wife and trooper

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Footage from Officer Stanley Smith’s body camera shows how five officers were responding to the scene where OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg was shot before the officers killed the gunman, who police say had also killed his wife earlier in the night. (KPTV) Footage from Officer Stanley Smith’s body camera shows how five officers were responding to the scene where OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg was shot before the officers killed the gunman, who police say had also killed his wife earlier in the night. (KPTV)
OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg (Courtesy: OSP) OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg (Courtesy: OSP)
HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

The Washington County District Attorney’s office said the five officers who shot a man police say killed his estranged wife and shot an Oregon State Police trooper were legally justified to do so.

Investigators say that on Christmas day, Katelynn Tykla had dropped off her infant daughter at the King City home James Tykla shared with his mother and step-father and that James Tykla approached her vehicle as she was trying to leave and shot her eight times, killing her.

Multiple neighbors called police after hearing the gunshots, and police first spotted James Tykla’s car within minutes before losing sight of the vehicle. OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg spotted the car again 10 minutes later and notified dispatchers, just moments before Tykla opened fire on the trooper’s vehicle.

Dispatchers issued an “Officer Down” call 90 seconds later to multiple agencies. Officers found the OSP vehicle south of Sherwood on Gimm Lane, a dead end road. Trooper Cederberg was lying on the ground near the driver’s door and the officers knew he had been shot. No one knew where Tykla was located.

According to the district attorney's office, the officers, Stanley Smith, Christopher Pierce, and Joseph Twigg from the Sherwood Police Department, Eli Sanders from the Tualatin Police Department and Anthony Christofaro from the Hillsboro Police Department, grouped together to form a “360-cell” as they approached Trooper Cederberg.

As they moved toward the trooper, a body camera on Officer Smith captured the events as Officer Twigg asked for cover and another officer shined a light toward an area of dense vegetation 10 yards from the trooper where Tykla was hiding in an elevated position with a weapon pointed at the officers.

The camera picked up the officers commanding Tykla to drop his weapon. Officers then fired at Tykla when they said he did not comply, killing him. In all, the officers fired 40 rounds at Tykla.

Officer Twigg, an Army National Guard veteran with training in emergency casualty care, began providing medical aid to Cederberg while Officer Pierce went to confirm that Tykla was secured.

An autopsy performed by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office showed that Tykla had been shot 21 times, including a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The other wounds were consistent with the positions of the officers and Tykla during the gunfire.

The medical examiner also noted that Tykla had a blood alcohol level of .11 percent at the time of his death.

Trooper Cederberg’s dashcam recordings revealed that the trooper and Tykla exchanged gunfire outside of their vehicles. The recording then shows Tykla taking the trooper’s duty weapon after Cederberg went down and shot at him again.

The two investigators into the shooting, Detectives Kevin Dresser of the Tigard Police Department and Andrew Hays of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, along with the deputy district attorneys reviewing the case, note that since officers knew that Tykla had shot his wife, attempted to elude police, shot and possibly killed a trooper, they were justified under state law with shooting and killing Tykla.

Officials said they have not yet completed their full investigation. They are still speaking with Trooper Cederberg and may release more materials at a later time.

Trooper Cederberg is now recovering at his home.

Sherwood Police Department sent a statement to FOX 12 Wednesday that said, "all of the Sherwood Police Officers involved, Officer Joe Twigg, Officer Stan Smith and Officer Chris Pierce were recognized at the Sherwood Police Foundation Awards Banquet for their efforts and actions on Christmas Night."

Officer Twigg was presented with a Lifesaving Medal and the Medal of Valor. Officer Smith and Officer Pierce were awarded with the Medal of Valor.

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