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DCSO identifies armed Bend 18-year-old shot and killed by Bend Police officer after Bend Parkway crash

Witnesses said driver had been speeding, driving recklessly, almost caused several crashes

(Update: Adding video, DCSO identifies driver, more details of officer-involved shooting)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies on Thursday released the name of an 18-year-old Bend resident who a Bend police officer shot and killed when investigators say he brandished a gun after a crash on the Bend Parkway Wednesday night.

An initial investigation by the Tri-County Major Incident Team revealed that Gabriel Keith Platz, 18, “brandished a firearm during his contact with the City of Bend Police Department moments before an officer discharged their agency issued firearm,” sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Wall said.

The active investigation continues, Wall said, adding that any other information will come from District Attorney Steve Gunnel’s office.

Witnesses told police Platz had been speeding and driving recklessly, nearly causing several other crashes, officers said.

Police responded around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday to the report of a non-injury crash on the northbound parkway near Butler Market Road, at milepost 136, Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.

When officers arrived, several witnesses told them a driver had been driving recklessly and speeding, nearly causing several other crashes, Miller said.

Officers found the suspect vehicle and driver at the scene.

“At approximately 8:30 p.m., a Bend Police officer fired his service weapon and used deadly force during an encounter with the driver,” Miller wrote in a news release late Wednesday night. “Officers at the scene attempted to perform life-saving care.”

The officer involved will be placed on paid “critical incident” leave during the investigation, according to Miller, who added, “This is standard procedure.”

Platz was a 2023 Summit High graduate, Bend-La Pine Schools confirmed. Court records show he had no criminal record.

The investigation of the officer-involved shooting closed the parkway in both directions for several hours between Empire and Revere avenues. A detour was established, and motorists were warned of extended delays and advised to use Third Street in place.

ODOT advised the southbound lanes reopened around 11:30 p.m., but the northbound lanes remained closed until about 5:15 a.m. Thursday, the agency said.

The Tri-County Major Incident Team was called in to investigate the incident, Miller said, and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will oversee the officer-involved shooting investigation.

ODOT’s TripCheck had a posting at 8:38 p.m. about the crash and said it occurred at milepost 136, at the Highway 97-20 intersection. The closure was between Empire and Revere avenues and ODOT said that ramps also were affected.

Witnesses reported a large number of police rushed to the scene and traffic backups quickly grew. One motorist said there were “at least 20 emergency vehicles” on the scene. The ODOT alert said, "Expect extended delays."

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Barney Lerten

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Matthew Draxton

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