The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced the conclusion of an investigation related to the use of deadly force by former Tigard Police Officer Gabriel Maldonado that resulted in the death of Jacob Macduff on January 6, 2021. The Oregon DOJ was asked by Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton to assume all prosecution responsibilities for the investigation, which was conducted by the Washington County Major Crimes Team. After a thorough investigation two DOJ assistant attorneys general presented the case to a Washington County Grand Jury. The grand jury last night returned a “not true bill,” meaning the grand jury believed criminal charges were not warranted.
A brief summary of evidence presented to the Grand Jury included: At the time shots were fired, resulting in Mr. Macduff’s death, Tigard Police officers had been called to the scene and were attempting to arrest Macduff for domestic harassment. Officers encountered Macduff, whom they were told may be armed with a knife, sitting in a locked pickup truck. An officer trained in crisis negotiation engaged Macduff in an unsuccessful effort to get him to voluntarily come out of the truck. Officer Maldonado, who attempted to take Macduff into custody by removing him from the truck, fired multiple shots when he repeatedly ignored his commands to drop the knife.
The grand jury’s role was solely to determine whether the involved officers’ conduct warranted criminal charges; questions regarding matters that are civil or administrative in nature were beyond the scope of the investigation and the grand jury’s review.
“This was a very tragic situation resulting in the death by a police officer of an allegedly mentally unwell person. However, I am satisfied with the Washington County grand jury’s conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges being brought against Officer Maldonado, who discharged his weapon while attempting to effectuate an arrest of Mr. MacDuff, resulting in his death. The jury was thoroughly briefed on the new police use of deadly force law, HB 4301, that went into effect a few days before this incident. The grand jury also reached this conclusion after listening to first-hand witnesses describe what happened at the scene,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum thanked the Washington County Major Crimes Team for their efforts in leading the investigation and the Washington County grand jurors for their service.