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Bend officer cleared in shooting of driver who killed self

District Attorney John Hummel says the officer drew his firearm after hearing the gunshot and seeing the muzzle flash.

Posted: Aug. 1, 2018 3:08 PM

BEND, Ore. (AP) -- The Deschutes County District Attorney says a Bend police officer was legally justified in firing at a suspected drunk driver who died from a self-inflicted gunshot during a June 26 traffic stop.

District Attorney John Hummel says the officer drew his firearm after hearing the gunshot and seeing the muzzle flash. Thinking the driver was shooting at him, Officer Timothy Williams fired seven rounds into the Toyota 4-Runner, striking the suspect twice.

Hummel says the driver, 36-year-old Timothy Bontrager, had been struggling professionally and with family relationships, but the "exact constellation of events" that led him to suicide is unknown.

The driver pulled the gun from his glove compartment after being asked to perform field sobriety tests.

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