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UPDATE: Deadly Shooting in Springfield

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UPDATE: Springfield police say the man who was found dead of a gunshot wound after a crash on South 57th and Bob Straub Parkway Wednesday night was 53-year-old David Paul Crofut. They also found the other driver involved, Gerald Strebendt, at the location.

According to investigators, Strebendt was driving a new, unlicensed black GMC Denali pickup. Crofut was driving a blue 2013 Nissan Rogue. Police say the shooting happened a short distance from both vehicles after the crash. Both vehicles and Crofut’s body were found in the roadway.

No arrests have been made and police are continuing the investigation. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Springfield Police Department at 541-726-3714.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Springfield Police are investigating a deadly shooting in the Thurston area.

Officers say a driver shot and killed another driver following a crash on Bob Straub Parkway around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday. They say a car crashed into a truck, the driver of the truck then got out and there was some sort of argument. That’s when they say the driver of the truck shot the other driver.

After interviewing witnesses, investigators say this may have all started on Main Street.

“There is some potential that it started as a road rage incident. There is some indication that we have from some witnesses that prior to this transpiring, that there might have been something going down on Main Street that involved these two vehicles,” said Sgt. Richard Jones, Springfield Police Department.

There was a passenger in the truck and police say they’re interviewing that woman along with the driver of the truck. The identities of the two male drivers haven’t been released.

As of Thursday morning Springfield Police say there is no one in custody and all participants are accounted for.

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  1. leslie says:

    I was driving Bob Straub recently when a grey pick-up much like the pictured rode my bumper all the way down till my turn off. Driver then accelerated away at high speed. County should have put a light at the intersection of 57th street to begin with, terrible intersection very dangerous with the amount of traffic in this residential neighborhood and very poorly designed intersection. I have seen numerous near misses and many incidents of angry exchanges and illegal driver decisions. You never now when some crazy person is going to lose control of themselves and go off on you because they are angry.

  2. Annie Alpizar says:

    I am beyond curious about the statement “Thursday Morning Springfield Police say there is no one in custody and all participants are accounted for.” Why would there not be a suspect in custody if someone took another human life? I can’t imagine what could have ‘justified’ a deadly shooting related to a road rage incident. I certainly don’t feel safe in my backyard knowing that someone can walk away after shooting someone on the side of the highway. Looking forward to an update from the SPD and thoughts to the family of the murder victim.

    1. Linda Lee says:

      I am in complete agreement with you here. Why would they not take a person into custody that just shot and killed someone due to road rage? It is scary that they have allowed someone with that level of anger issues, back into the community.

    2. Matt says:

      I know Gerald ( the shooter) he is a level headed guy. If you weren’t there then shut up! You people disgust me. Your the same ignorant people that say the SEALs should have just karate chopped Bin Laden or a cop who is also trained in self defense shouldn’t use his weapon. If the police suspected a crime they would have arrested him! Maybe they will later? Maybe he is guilty or innocent but I hope to god if I’m ever in that situation you ignorant people are NOT on the jury! I carry a gun legally and have had people yell at me follow me and approach me while I am carrying my gun. Guess what??!! I’ve never used itor shown it. But there is NO WAY I would allow anyone to hurt my family, I bet the guy I new York wished he would have had a gun. Here’s an idea how about people stop acting like jerks running red lights flipping and cutting people off and wow stay in your car!!! Neither one of them stayed in there car according to reports.

      1. jason mark says:

        naw, the guy is a hot head fighter.

        1. Derrick says:

          Nobody knows exactly what happened there except the ones involved. But if you shoot an unarmed man with a weapon “similar to an AR15″ (quoted by SPFD PD Sgt. Dave Lewis) you better have one hell of a good attorney ready to go.

  3. Angela says:

    @Annie
    I agree with you!! The man in the Truck knowingly grabbed his loaded gun and stepped out of his Truck. He had to know before he even opened his door he was going to use it to either do what he did or scare the other driver. he also must of at least knew that there was a good chance the man was unarmed. (it’s not a common thing to carry loaded guns in your car). He made that choice to take a life and put anyone around in danger! He should be but in Jail till at least he has had time to calm down and take responsibility for his actions. I’m guessing that wasn’t his only gun and who’s to say he won’t do another drastic thing. Last night proves he reacts on emotions first… And his emotions must be off the charts with anger, fear,maybe grief (i hope). I fear for anyone that could be in his cross fire when all this becomes to much for him. for his and other people safety they should have him locked up!!!

    1. leslie says:

      Angela you make all kinds of assumptions…you don’t know that the man who rammed the truck was not carrying other weapons. You don’t know what happened prior to his ramming the pick-up truck on Bob Straub even. Let the police do their job! If they felt the situation warranted an arrest they would have made one! It is common for many drivers to carry a handgun or a rifle in their vehicle, we have many hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in our area. I don’t know why the guy felt it was necessary to step out of his vehicle with his gun in his hand but he did and I will wait for the SPD to investigate before coming to any conclusion myself.

      1. Joe says:

        Leslie, where is the word “rammed” used in the police report. It was reported as a minor accident. It seems as if you’re embellishing the story.

    2. Blair says:

      Angela…..it is more common than you think for people to carry weapons in their vehicles and on their person. Concealed weapon permits are at an all time high. If the man who used the gun felt threatened why wouldn’t he grab his gun when he exited his vehicle? Believe it or not….the Police know what they are doing and they are very aware of the laws. Do you really think the SPD would allow an armed criminal to go free after killing someone? Obviously they have more information than they are releasing at this time due to case sensitivity. If we do find out that the man who used the gun was acting in self-defense because he felt his life was being threatened…..I say good for him!

    3. Angela says:

      OK I understand. I wasn’t trying to come across the way I realize now how i sounded. I was only trying to say that maybe at least they should of held him until he could have his mental status evaluated. Kind of like what they do when someone is suicidal. I never said he murdered that man I just said he is guilty of taking a life. I was concerned for the shooter well being as well. I can only assume and yes I’m just amusing that they emotions that lead up to the shooting will be nothing compared to what he is going through now and will go through for the rest of his life. I don’t want him to react in way that could harm him or anyone else. I don’t think he killed him in cold blood and don’t think he should be sent away for the rest of his life. I just want him to get some mental health for this and the reasons that the road rage took him to a place where he felt it was his only option. Sorry if I offended anyone I won’t be commenting again

  4. missy says:

    the man in the car RAMMED the truck. hello. assault with a deadly weapon. unfortunately the deceased victim had the first blow… self defense.

    1. Ron says:

      Wrong Missy…wrong

  5. aliqui says:

    There’s an MMA guy named Gerald Strebendt that owns Northwest Training Center in Springfield according to Wikipedia. One can’t help but assume it’s the same guy…

    1. Stan says:

      Here is an interesting except about him from Wikipedia as well, I wonder if he will turn himself in for arrest since he doesn’t like people escaping punishment for murder….

      “Strebendt was a key witness in the 2005 murder trial of Rafiel Torre. Torre initially offered Strebendt $10,000 to kill the victim, 32-year-old Bryan Richards, who had a sizable life insurance policy and with whose wife Torre was having an affair. After Strebendt refused, Torre committed the murder himself, then told Strebendt a few days later that he had killed Richards in self-defense with a rear naked choke. Torre asked Strebendt to provide him with an alibi, a request which was met with Strebendt’s refusal. More than a year after the killing, Strebendt voluntarily came forward and provided his story to detectives, out of concern that Torre would escape punishment for the murder. Torre was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; he is appealing the sentence.”

  6. Disgusted says:

    No matter what occurred with the accident/crash, what kind of coward handles an argument by shooting another man! Anyone ever here of a good old fashioned fist fight to settle a dispute! There are way too many people eager or ignorant enough to use a firearm these days.

    1. Cedrick Eberhardt says:

      U.S. firearm deaths are at their lowest level in decades. Rates of violent crime are down throughout much of the developed world. Despite what the news may have convinced you, “these days” are some of the safest in history.

      1. Disgusted says:

        Let me guess you heard that on CNN? lol

        1. Cedrick Eberhardt says:

          No, I just prefer a world view based on actual statistics rather than sensationalist reporting and doomerism. Crime statistics are published. You can look this up for yourself.

          Pretending that the past was superior to the present in every respects is a very sad way of life and prevents us from focusing on real problems. This story is ugly from several angles, but it’s not part of some growing trend of senseless violence. It’s no longer the wild west, and even in more recent history a good number of those “good old fashioned fist fights” ended with someone getting their head kicked into a curb.

    2. Derp says:

      If my wife was in the truck like this given situation and I was carrying and has some yahoo run me off the road I would do the same thing. I bet most people would but it’s just such a random sequence of events that we don’t hear of this thing more often. But on the side of the freeway after being in an accident w/ another life on the line you’re not going to get out and throw down, this other guy could have easily has a gun himself and you’d be a fool to take someone like that lightly. To call him a coward from behind your computer is a joke and I highly doubt you’d say that to this man’s face.

  7. Robert says:

    Why would a young Trained MMA (Gerald Strebendt) fighter have to shot a 53 year old man in the head in front of his poor wife? I know “Dave” and he had no weapon! Gerald Strebendt a trained fighter and ex marine shot a unarmed man in the head!!. Why would he have to shot that man when he could have taken that man down in a choke hold or something?

  8. Annie says:

    @ aliqui: Yes, the Register Guard confirmed that he is a former Marine sniper and owner of the MMA academy called Northwest Training Center in Springfield.

    Bottom line, I am all for self-defense but how about knocking the dude out rather than shooting him and taking a life. I have an issue with the fact that he was carrying a loaded gun (perhaps legal) and driving an unlicensed vehicle aggressively (per the new reports) on our streets; to me, that reflects a disregard for the law. It may have been initiated by the other driver but lock yourself in your truck, call the police and shoot ONLY if he breaks through the barrier to take YOUR life. That’s what self-defense is all about. Not getting out of your truck to engage and then seeing who can draw faster.

    Pretty sure he occupies a house in my neighborhood where MY children play and MY family had just passed through that stretch so I feel strongly about this issue and very justified to voice my concern. He may not be a bad guy or have intended to do it…but until they know for sure he should be in custody and go through an evaluation. I would expect that consequence (or inconvenience) if I chose to take a life in self-defense and I would stand strong if I was justified and support my community by cooperating in custody. I feel like the SPD has dropped the ball on this one on behalf of the community.

  9. MaryM says:

    Angela, don’t apologize for your opinions. Disgusted — you are right on…

  10. Sad... says:

    Why would a trained MMA fighter and former Marine in his 20′s feel the need to shoot and kill a 53 year old man? Dave and his wife where in a little car and that big truck could have easily just drove away. I know because I have the same truck and no little car of that size can stop it. But NO! The young man got out of his truck and shot the poor guy. Why not just use your years of training and just take the guy down and wait for the police? He killed a poor guy in his mid 50′s who no doubt was a husband, father, brother, and grandfather. If the man Dave had a weapon then the police would have said he had one to the press but he did not. Ether way is very sad…. SPD needs not to drop the ball on this one.

    1. Derp says:

      You need to reread the article so you’re not so confused on what happened. The shooter had a female in his truck, no doubt his wife or girlfriend. He’s in his 30′s, not sure where you got 20′s from. Shot and killed a poor guy? The dude was road raging and ran this guy off the road and they were both outside of their vehicles. Making it sound like this dude was innocent and got shot in his vehicle is just plain stupid. He thought he was badass and king of the road and got the reality check he deserved.

  11. Ellen says:

    A Trained Marine Sniper Could of aimed for the leg with out blinking to stop any imminent threat to his life.
    Cops will even give a crazy gun man that is shooting at them the choice to live or die. By announcing that he will be shot if he didn’t stop what he was doing. I would of expected a United States Marine to have better composure then that! He didn’t not give the old man a choice and it was not the shooter right to make it for him!!

    1. pam says:

      AMEN!!!This was my brother that was killed!!!He was also shot in the back of the head..self-defense…GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

  12. chris hoffman says:

    Shame but too soon too judge. Hypothetical… What if it was the truck that raged and chased him to the crash sight and rammed the truck that hard? Would you draw down on someone that after assaulting you with a motor vehicle, , failed commands to stop, and kept coming at you? Not defending the dude as I know nothing about the incident, just a interesting use of force conversation.

  13. Fact Check says:

    This was not reported correctly – he was taken into custody and worked cooperatively with the authorities.

    Do any of you know what the toxicology reports say yet?

    Is it possible the person who was shot was high and out of their mind?

    Do any of you have this information?

    The answer is NO.

    None of us have this information yet.

    None of us have heard the 911 call.

    Assumptions are rarely truth.
    Oh, and by the way, media does not fully hold the truth either.

    1. pam says:

      This was my brother that was killed…he was not high. He was returning from closing on his new home. He was shot in THE BACK OF HIS HEAD!!! THAT is not self defense.

  14. MadDroid says:

    We need to take into consideration that we do not have all the facts yet. Making assumptions at this point is useless, and may lead to mistakes by the SPD. Let them do their jobs and stop the calls for action against a man who may have been justified in his actions. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. His decision to take that man’s life will go with him for the remainder of his life. It was not an enemy of the state that was killed, but a fellow American. It is easier to say what should have been done after the fact when the stress and adrenaline of combat is out of the system, or when removed from the situation completely, but when you feel your life is in jeopardy, your thought process narrows to just one impulse: survive.

    That having been said, with Mr. Strebendt’s training, it will go very hard on him if justification cannot be proven. Either way, prayers go to Mr. Strebendt, Mr. Crofut’s family, and the SPD to help them all through this very trying time.

  15. sam says:

    I am very concerned that Gerald is not behind bars due to his relationship with spd. Crazy man should be locked up!

  16. Jack says:

    Annie: An unlicensed vehicle mean it didn’t have plates which happens very often. For example when people buy a new car and have the paper registration taped to the inside of their window until their license plates come.

  17. pam says:

    The victim was my brother…he was not high. HE WAS SHOT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD!!!Self-defense????????Self-defense is shooting someone in the knee..the arm…If ANYONE should know this…it would be a trained sniper.

    1. Cedrick Eberhardt says:

      You keep repeating this, but nobody can verify who you are. If what you say is true, I can understand your anger. However, there has been no further official statements and claims on internet forums are unsubstantiated at best.

      Just for reference, self defense does NOT mean shooting someone in the arm or knee. That sounds great on paper, but it’s very hard to do in real life. If use of deadly force is justified, the objective is to stop the attacker as quickly as possible and that means aiming for the center of mass. When a cop shoots someone in the arm, it means they missed.

      1. Pam, says:

        SERIOUSLY???Who needs to verify who I am??? I am and will always be his sister,Ummm…I AM in the know, as they say. MAY THIS IDIOT ROT IN JAIL.

        1. Pam, says:

          INTERNET FORUMS….Bahhhhaaa….truth is truth….I guess you believe everything you read in .INTERNET FORUMS????SERIOUSLY…OMG….

  18. Charlie says:

    Another gun owner gone martial nuts.

  19. Peggie says:

    This whole issue, and several comments validate my opposition to carrying guns.

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