COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- The use of deadly force by a Lane County sheriff’s sergeant in Cottage Grove was justified, Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow said.
Perlow’s report indicates that Larry Lowry Jr. of Cottage Grove approached deputies, threatening them with a large knife, and had been using methamphetamine.
She said Deputy Christopher Gardner shot a less-lethal round at Lowry to no effect, and Sgt. Levi McKenny fired two rounds from his patrol rifle, striking Lowry twice, once in the right side of his chest and once in the right side of his back.
McKenny fired at Lowry to defend the deputies, Perlow said.
Deputies first responded to the 37000 block of Row River Road at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 23 after a report that Lowry was attacking the caller’s granddaughter, Erin Garrison, and another woman. He was also reported to be destroying property, breaking windows and the door to the residence.
The other woman told investigators Lowry assaulted her and threatened to kill her.
The property reportedly includes a home, shed, camp trailer and camp tent, and three generations of a family and their guests live on the property.
Both Lowry and Garrison had warrants for their arrest, but by the time deputies arrived, they had left. Deputies advised the caller to let them know if Lowry returned.
Garrison told investigators she returned alone and went to bed in the shed, locking the door. Lowry returned at about 1 a.m., she said, and kicked in the door. She said he demanded that she get some car keys, or he was going to kill everyone in the main house.
Deputies once more arrived to the scene and said that Lowry was yelling and breaking things. He was seen with a large knife, and they said he threatened the deputies’ lives. More deputies arrived on scene.
Lowry reportedly called deputies liars and said, “I’m going to kill you all,” and said that he’d “waited for this day (his) whole life.”
Sgt. McKenny arrived on scene and took command.
Perlow said during attempts to get Lowry to come out of the shed, Lowry demanded to speak to Garrison, who talked to him over the PA system on one of the patrol vehicles, and he initially calmed down, leading Gardner to switch out his firearm for the less-lethal rifle he later used on Lowry.
However, Perlow said when deputies attempted again to get Lowry to come out with his hands showing, the situation re-escalated and while Garrison once more talked to Lowry, her attempts were unsuccessful.
Garrison told investigators she saw Lowry run toward the deputies.
Deputies rendered aid to Lowry after the shooting, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team was called to the scene to take over the investigation.
Sgt. McKenny has been with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office since 2006 and has no prior use of deadly force incidents, Perlow said.