DA: Trooper Cederberg justified in use of force against suspect - KPTV - FOX 12

DA: Trooper Cederberg justified in use of force against suspect who shot him 12 times

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OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg (Courtesy: OSP) OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg (Courtesy: OSP)

An investigation has determined that Trooper Nic Cederberg was justified in his use of force against a suspect who shot him 12 times while the trooper was investigating reports of a homicide.

Washington County Senior Deputy District Attorney Bracken McKey said that this decision came after his review of Major Crimes Team Detective Andy Hay’s investigation into the specifics of Cederberg’s actions, noting that the other officers who shot and killed suspect James Tylka were already determined to be justified in their actions.

The investigation showed that Cederberg was responding to reports from several neighbors in King City regarding the killing of Tylka’s estranged wife Katelynn Tylka on Christmas night last year. Cederberg told dispatchers he was going to be “checking the back roads,” which is where he came across Tylka.

Cederberg inquired with dispatchers if Tylka was believed to be armed, which was confirmed. Tylka ignored visual and audible commands to pull over and continued on Bell Road past the intersection with Highway 99W, at which point the road became Southwest Gimm Lane. Cederberg’s dash cam video then captured Tylka’s first gunshot toward Cederberg, before several more shots were fired.

As Tylka reached the dead end of Gimm Lane, he turned around and drove back toward Cederberg, accelerating as he approached the patrol car. Cederberg got out of his vehicle and fired 16 rounds at Tylka’s car as he crashed into the patrol car.

A review of the evidence from the scene showed that Cederberg shot Tylka at least once while he was still in his vehicle.

After crashing his car into the patrol car, detectives said Tylka fired six shots through the passenger window of his car, and the audio recording from the patrol car picked up Cederberg reacting to being shot by the fifth or sixth round.

Cederberg radioed that he had been shot, and a few seconds later could be heard saying “Where’s my gun?” before Tylka then appeared on the dashcam video, walking around his vehicle apparently looking for Cederberg.

Cederberg reloaded his service weapon and fired another 16 rounds toward Tylka, who went down behind the trunk of the car and fired back at Cederberg.

As Cederberg tried to reload again, the video showed Tylka rushing forward toward Cederberg’s position and firing three rounds. Tylka then leaned over the hood and fired seven more rounds at Cederberg from close range in quick succession, with the last shots appearing to come while Tylka was standing directly over Cederberg.

Investigators said that only 50 seconds elapsed between Tylka speeding toward Cederberg’s patrol car and Tylka’s last close-range shot.

Cederberg suffered gunshot wounds to right hip, right wrist, left tibia, left triceps, left torso and two wounds to the left armpit area. His ballistic vest also sustained five bullet strikes.

After emptying his weapon, Tylka attempted to reload his weapon but jammed it in the process. He then took Cederberg’s duty weapon and fired another round at the trooper, grazing his cap.

The dashcam video then picked up the sound of sirens approaching the scene and showed Tylka running out of view shortly before he was shot and killed by other officers responding to the “officer down” call by dispatchers.

The investigators said that the severity of Cederberg’s injuries prevented them from interviewing the trooper for more than two months following the incident, but when he could speak with them he told the detectives that he thought his “life was in danger” when he first fired his weapon.

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