Grand jury rules shooting of Springfield murder suspect justified

The shooting was considered to be “inevitable.”

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 11:11 AM
Updated: May 3, 2021 10:33 AM

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- Disturbing new details were released into an officer-involved shooting in Reedsport earlier this month, depicting a violent end to a man officials described as a "cold-blooded killer."

Rick Wesenberg, district attorney for Douglas County, announced on Tuesday that a grand jury ruled the death of David Ruozi Jr., 30,  by four officers justified.

David Ruozi Jr.

"Ruozi had to be stopped," Wesenberg said.

RELATED: AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY MURDER SUSPECT KILLED IN REEDSPORT STANDOFF

Ruozi was a suspect in the murder of Richard Marshall, 70, a caretaker at the Food For Lane County Youth Farm in Springfield. Wesenberg said Marshall had been shot in the face with a .45-caliber pistol.

Days after Marshall's death, Springfield detectives were contacted by a man from Ohio, who said Ruozi had given him details of the murder. Police then asked the FBI to "ping" Ruozi's phone, Wesenberg said, which led detectives to the Reedsport area.

On March 9, Ruozi and another man were seen leaving a house in the Reedsport area driving in a white Acura sedan, Wesenberg said. Authorities conducted a traffic stop at a gas station at 1575 Highway Ave.

Wesenberg said the driver was immediately detained, but Ruozi refused to get out, starting a five-hour standoff.

During phone negotiations, Ruozi was extremely angry, Wesenberg said, telling officers he was going to "Valhalla." Ruozi told police he would not surrender and would never go back to prison.

Ruozi told officers he was armed with what he called "a little suicide pistol," and there would be a shootout resulting in his death, Wesenberg said.

At some point, according to Wesenberg, Ruozi confessed to Marsall's murder, revealing details that only the killer would know.

Ruozi also claimed to have a split personality, and that the person who killed Marshall was an alter ego named Damian. 

Wesenberg said that Ruozi demanded a pencil and paper to write his last will and testament. Ruozi also texted to police a picture of his handgun.

Ruozi also made several phone calls to his family, Wesenberg said.

Around four hours into the standoff, Ruozi announced he would smoke meth, Wesenberg said, and he was seen smoking a pipe. Soon after, he stopped talking to negotiators.

The Douglas County Tactical Response Team (TRT) took up positions around the Acura, and an armored vehicle was moved up to block the Acura, Wesenberg said. 

After tear gas was fired unsuccessfully at the Acura, bouncing off the roof of the car, Ruozi grabbed the pistol and came out of the Acura, Wesenberg said.

The TRT fired six rounds with five bullets striking and killing Ruozi.

Sgt. Nick Hanson, Det. Rico Lang, Deputy Mike Siemens, and Deputy Jason Forte were identified as the officers who shot Ruozi.

<"Ruozi was a cold-blooded killer," Wesenberg said. "His only purpose was to yet again murder another person."

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