Grand jury to probe shooting by Athena officer

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ATHENA — A grand jury will review Monday’s fatal shooting of an Athena man by a city police officer.

Umatilla County District Attorney Daniel Primus said he is preparing to have a grand jury review the case in which Athena police Sgt. Erik Palmer shot and killed Tere David King, 55, south of town on Pamburn road at 7:20 a.m.

The Oregon State Police is investigating the incident.

King was wanted for eluding police Saturday night, authorities said. Palmer had spotted King’s Ford pickup Monday and called in for backup to make an arrest.

According to a news release from Primus’s office, King “drove his vehicle at Sgt. Palmer, who disabled the suspect’s vehicle by shooting its tires.”

After the vehicle was disabled, King got out of his pickup with a firearm and Palmer shot him.

The investigation will be the third time in Palmer’s police career that his use of deadly force has reviewed by a Umatilla County grand jury.

As a Pendleton police officer, Palmer shot and killed Deveron Schreiner in 2008. And in 2011, also in Pendleton, he shot and wounded Mark McMillan. Both men were reported to be suicidal were armed.

Grand juries justified Palmer’s use of deadly force in both cases.

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