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Bend PD IDs 3 officers involved in shooting; DA seeks info

(Update: Adding video, comment from DA John Hummel)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend Police released Wednesday the names and work backgrounds of three officers involved in a pursuit and attempted arrest early Monday that led to the shooting and serious wounding of a Bend woman on U.S. Highway 20E about 40 miles east of Bend.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, meanwhile, said he's still hoping to hear from witnesses to the start of the police encounter with the woman, near St. Charles Bend.

Police said Monday that Danielle Bower, 29, was acting in an erratic manner and had blood on her when she encountered near the St. Charles Bend emergency department, then drove recklessly out of the parking lot, prompting a pursuit east on Highway 20.

They said her van left the highway near milepost 39 and came to a stop. The officers who tried to arrest Bower then fired their weapons. 

Wednesday's release did not provide more details of what transpired that led to the shooting.

The three police officers were identified as Sgt. Thomas Russell, Officer Tim Williams and Officer Victor Umnitz.

Sergeant Thomas Russell

  • Currently assigned to the patrol division
  • 15 years law enforcement experience, 13 with the Bend Police Department
  • 23 Citizen Commendations
  • 33 Department Commendations
  • Decorated Marine Corps veteran

Officer Tim Williams

  • Currently assigned to the patrol division
  • 3 years of law enforcement experience
  • Decorated United States Air Force veteran and currently serving as a Sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserve
  • 2 Lifesaving awards

Officer Victor Umnitz

  • Currently assigned as a Police K-9 handler
  • 15 years of law enforcement experience with the Bend Police
  • 9 Citizen Commendations
  • 12 Department Commendations
  • 1 Lifesaving award
  • Decorated Marine Corps veteran

These three members of the Bend Police Department are currently assigned to administrative leave. 

"This assignment to administrative leave is not an indication of wrong-doing, but rather to be maintained compliance with department policy and in accordance with the Deschutes County Deadly Force Plan," Lt. Juli McConkey said in the news release. 

Hummel told NewsChannel 21 one of his main concerns is to determine why Bower was covered with blood when first encountered by police.

"I'm not convinced yet that we know everything that we need to know about that,” he said. “We're still working that angle, and I think there's more information out there that we don't know yet. So I would encourage anyone who has any information about what happened before Ms. Bower came to the hospital to come forward to law enforcement and let us know."

Bend / Central Oregon / Government-politics / News / Top Stories

KTVZ news sources

Comments

22 Comments

  1. “Wednesday’s release did not provide more details of what transpired that led to the shooting.”
    Maybe because the Bend Police don’t want to try to explain this.

    Why would they shoot a young woman (5 times) who pulled off the highway in the middle of nowhere 17 miles east of Bend, where there’s no one around?

    1. Read the article. Erratic, blood on her, reckless driving, pursuit almost 40 miles. Maybe if she didn’t attempt to allude she wouldn’t have been 40 miles outside of Bend where there are no witnesses. It began at SCMC Bend.

      1. Those details explain why the police chased her, not why they shot her in the middle of nowhere in the desert, with no innocent bystanders who could be harmed. Why couldn’t they have just waited after she pulled off the highway in the desert?

  2. there is no indication that the woman shot was armed, or presented any eminent threat to the officers other than her own physical prowess – what is wrong with this picture?

    1. “what is wrong with this picture?”
      ___
      A Lot ! I listened to the DA today- and even he wasn’t able to piece together some pretty basic stuff- like why was she covered in blood ? Who’s blood ? Has anyone gone to her house- talked to her family- neighbors or friends- apparently not KTVZ- they seem content with the police version of events.
      ___
      At this point the whole thing looks like a cover-up. Someone will claim to have seen something and just started firing… and we’ve been down that road before.

        1. And we have lift-off !
          _____
          Face it- the local police have gone into CYA mode- they aint talkin’- the Z has gone complacent- just got scooped by the Bulletin- even though I clearly told them to go talk to the family… nope nothing to see here… except my big bright Orange “I told ya so” button.

  3. Read the article. Erratic, blood on her, reckless driving, pursuit almost 40 miles. Maybe if she didn’t attempt to allude she wouldn’t have been 40 miles outside of Bend where there are no witnesses. It began at SCMC Bend. I’ll wait for the investigation to be completed before making any assumptions.

    1. ” I’ll wait for the investigation to be completed before making any assumptions.”

      Now wait – you know that is not the proper way to behave on a forum like this!!!!!! (I agree with you by the way)

  4. Umnitz and Russell are both decorated Marines with a lot of LE experience,
    but Williams only has three years. It’s going to be interesting to see if those
    factors play into what transpired that morning. Actually it will be interesting to
    hear the explanation about several things pertaining to the entire incident from
    the very beginning.

      1. Because I didn’t notice I had forgotten it until after I submitted the comment.
        I really wish we were still able to edit comments after they were posted…

  5. According to the mother of the woman, she was shot 5 times while in her vehicle. All the accolades these officers received SURELY they should know restraint. Perhaps all of our officers who pledged to serve and protect should have some crisis training. There have been quite a few officer involved shootings in this town, they should all be taught that we dont shoot first! 3 grown men, 1 woman? A little trigger happy.

    1. Where did you find that information? I’m not going to condone or condemn the shooting
      because obviously there has been no critical information released.
      LEO’s do have some level of crisis training but I’m sure it varies depending on the
      particular department or State… They are trained to use less than lethal options when it is possible.
      It wasn’t that many years ago that they didn’t have any LTL options but now they have several, and it is becoming more common to read that these options were deployed,
      but just because those methods were attempted it doesn’t mean they were effective.
      Yes there have been several officer involved shootings here recently but there can be several contributing factors to the increase, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are trigger happy cops… I think one of the key factors is the increased use of drugs that cause very severe physical and mental changes, to the point where even very small men and women basically have super human strength. Some of these people don’t respond to LTL options whether it’s bean bag rounds or tasers and some don’t stop fighting even after being shot numerous times. Not saying that’s what happened in this case, but it’s not impossible either…
      Given what little we do know, it’s obvious there were other contributing factors involved in this incident. I’m wondering if there were any dash cams or body cameras being used from the time the chase started until after the shooting took place ? I haven’t seen anything on Z21 or anywhere else where they were mentioned but that doesn’t mean anything.

        1. And there ya go- The Bend Bulletin “scoops” Z21- who has spent the brunt of their day pushing a fake narrative about the Wuhan virus- then this little diddy appeared-
          ____
          A woman who traveled from China to Illinois in mid-January likely transmitted the novel coronavirus to her husband through “prolonged, unprotected contact,” according to research released Thursday.

          None of more than 300 people who came into contact with the two patients after they showed symptoms, however, developed symptoms of their own.

          The findings, published in the medical journal The Lancet, detail the first known transmission of novel coronavirus in the United States, and suggest that the virus may transmit most easily through extended contact with infected people, not brief or casual exposures.
          _____
          https://ktvz.com/health/2020/03/12/prolonged-unprotected-contact-led-to-first-known-person-to-person-coronavirus-transmission-in-us-study-says/
          ___
          Yup- the whole basis for the hysteria- the level of contagion- the severity of illness… all a complete hoax perpetrated by CNN and their affiliates like Z21.
          _____
          If you lost your sports job today- you can thank Z21. If your 401k went dry- Thank Z21. If you lost it all in the markets… yup- thank Z21. If you are now miserable without the NBA-NHL-MLB-NCAA Tournement… go ahead and thank Z21- they helped push a false narrative that was just proven to be a lie !
          ____
          Thanks Z21- yer all heart !

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