No one was injured in Christmas night gunfire that totaled 15 rounds
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel ruled Friday a sheriff's deputy was legally justified in returning gunfire at a drunken driving suspect who fired several shots at another deputy during a Christmas night traffic stop in La Pine. A total of 15 shots were exchanged, but no one was injured.
Hummel ruled the shots fired by Deputy Anthony Ramos were authorized under state law, meaning no charges will be filed against him.
The traffic stop occurred on Dyke Road around 7 p.m. on Dec. 25 and led to the arrest of James Lamkin, 29, on charges including DUII, felony attempting to elude police, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of menacing and four counts of recklessly endangering another person.
Deputy Evan Kennedy had pulled Lamkin over on a suspected DUII, and Ramos responded to the scene to assist.
Hummel said in his findings the investigation found that while Ramos was on the way, he was told by Kennedy over the radio that Lamkin had stopped, had a gun and was not cooperating.
After Kennedy ordered Lamkin get out of the truck, he saw “Lamkin extend his arm out of the driver’s side window of his truck and fire multiple rounds from his handgun," Hummel wrote in his findings.
Hummel said Lamkin fired seven shots from his pickup, prompting Ramos, taking cover behind his patrol SUV, to return fire with eight shots from his handgun.
Most of Lamkin's rounds hit the road or a snow berm to his left, Hummel said. One traveled more than 50 yards and his a nearby home’s fence. The shots fired by Ramos struck and/or passed through Lamkin’s pickup.
“Mr. Lamkin’s decision to shoot his gun in the direction of Deputy Kennedy was dangerous, reckless, and rightfully resulted in Deputy Ramos shooting at him," Hummel said in Friday's decision.
"Deputy Ramos’ marksmanship was impressive, as from a distance of approximately 30 yards, in the dark, with a handgun as opposed to a rifle, six of his eight shots struck the immediate area of the driver’s compartment of Mr. Lamkin’s truck," the DA added.
"It is believed the remaining two rounds went through the truck, as the driver’s window was down and rear window was not intact enough for analysis," Hummel said.
"Mr. Lamkin was not struck by Deputy Ramos’ rounds because he was slumped down and to the left in his seat while he was firing his rounds. Fortunately for all involved, no one was struck by gunfire or otherwise injured during this incident,” the DA concluded.