Marion County Grand Jury finds 5 Salem officers justified in deadly use of force

Evidence markings at the scene of the officer-involved shooting in Salem
Evidence markings at the scene of the officer-involved shooting in Salem(KPTV)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 5:59 PM PST
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SALEM Ore. (KPTV) – A Marion County Grand Jury has unanimously found five Salem Police Department officers justified in their use of deadly force in a January shooting, Marion County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Officers first responded at about 9 a.m. Jan. 23 to the parking lot of the Walmart at 5250 Commercial Street Southeast. Initial reports were of an armed robbery and carjacking. Updated information indicated the suspect went north of Walmart to Planet Fitness, where he attempted to steal another vehicle.

According to police, the suspect then ran to the NAPA Auto Parts at 5105 Commercial Street Southeast where officers confronted the suspect in the parking lot and gunfire was exchanged.

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The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Michael Compton, was hit by gunfire and died at the scene. Investigators later found a black handgun under the suspect and a loaded magazine in his pocket. Compton had multiple arrest warrants from Clackamas and Lane counties. No officers were injured.

The D.A.’s Office says in total, officers fired 68 rounds at Compton. Compton was hit 18 times in various parts of his body, including three graze wounds.

The Marion County Grand Jury convened for two days, hearing testimony from 16 witnesses. After reviewing videos, photographs, scene diagrams, dispatch recordings, ballistic information, firearms and autopsy conclusions the jury concluded all officers were justified in their actions.