Editor’s note: This article includes a description of a fatal police shooting that includes a man threatening suicide.
An armed man shot at a driver in the Four Corners neighborhood, pointed a gun at five others and aimed at police before officers shot him three times to stop him, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Thursday, Jan. 4.
A Marion County grand jury on Wednesday unanimously found that a Salem police officer, state police trooper and Marion County sheriff’s deputy were justified in shooting and killing 32-year-old Justin L. Jordan on Friday, Nov. 24.
A statement released Thursday morning by the office of District Attorney Paige Clarkson said the officers fired four shots at Jordan after he pointed a pistol at them in the area of Southeast Arabian Avenue and Southeast Sorrel Court.
The shooting came after officers urged Jordan to drop his gun, saying they did not want to hurt him, and he yelled at them to “kill me.” Video also showed Jordan pointing guns at his own head several times throughout the episode.
Three bullets struck Jordan, including two “graze wounds,” and an autopsy found he died from gunshot wounds to his torso that injured his lungs and heart.
Grand jurors heard testimony from 22 witnesses including Keizer police officers, who led the investigation. Jurors also reviewed exhibits including videos, photographs, scene diagrams, dispatch recordings, ballistic information, guns and autopsy findings.
The district attorney’s office gave the following account of the shooting.
The morning after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 24, Jordan was at his Salem home at 1238 Arabian Ave. S.E. when Ring camera video from his home showed him walk up to the front door at 10:44 a.m. and start hitting the door with his body.
Video showed him walking toward the driveway and returning twice over the next seven minutes, both times kicking the front door. In the last instance, he looked into the camera while holding a phone in his hand, put two fingers to his temple and moved them to his throat, simulating cutting his throat. He then slammed his hand against the screen door and walked away.
Six minutes later, a man called 911 to report Jordan was in the street throwing his own trash cans around. The man said Jordan went back into his home and came out with two handguns, which he put to his head.
The witness reported Jordan said, “I’m going to kill everyone around me” and “Everyone’s dying around me.”
While on the phone with emergency dispatchers, the man heard a gunshot and saw Jordan holding the guns to his head while kneeling in the middle of the street.
While deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office were heading to the scene, at least nine other people called 911 to report the incident.
One caller had been helping a friend move that morning. While driving a truck on Southeast Shetland Court, she saw Jordan running at her, pointing a pistol at her. As she ducked down and tried to move her car forward, she heard three “pops” and sped off. The gunshots left bullet holes in the truck.
Jordan then walked back down South Arabian Avenue, where a man heading to work around 11 a.m. drove by and saw him crossing the street while taking his shirt off. As he got closer, Jordan pointed a gun at the driver, who drove past him and called 911.
The first officers on scene arrived at 11:04 a.m., and multiple others arrived shortly after. They walked south on Arabian Avenue and saw Jordan in the middle of the street, yelling with a pistol in his hand.
Officers saw neighbors “in the immediate area” as Jordan waved a pistol around. They moved a patrol car up the street as some officers took cover behind it, according to prosecutors’ statement.
Meanwhile, officers saw a driver approach Jordan north on Arabian Avenue. Jordan turned, appeared to yell “get back” and pointed a pistol at the driver, who turned around and went back down the street.
Another driver was headed to the Portland airport with his girlfriend at 11:07 a.m. when he drove down the street and saw police cars and Jordan sitting in the street. Jordan stood up, approached the car and pointed a gun at the driver through the front windshield before walking over to the driver’s side and pointing the gun at him through the driver side window.
The driver backed up as Jordan kept aiming at him. He then saw Jordan turn back toward the officers and point a gun at them before hearing shots shortly after.
As the driver drove away, Jordan started walking toward officers with two handguns in his hands.
Officers yelled commands including “Drop the gun,” “We do not want to hurt you,” “Get on the ground” and “We do not want to shoot you.”
Witness video shows Jordan point a gun toward the officers then point both guns himself. Seconds before police shoot Jordan, he can be heard telling them, “Kill me. Your mom aint going through cancer, is she? You don’t give a (expletive).” He then walked out of the video frame.
Oregon State Police Trooper Andrew Tuttle can be heard on his body-worn camera video saying, “If he points at me, I’m shooting him.” Shots are heard immediately after.
Prosecutors said Jordan then raised his right arm and pointed one of the pistols at the officers. Three officers fired shots.
“Multiple officers approached Jordan to render aid,” but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement. Officers found two guns by Jordan.
Investigators determined that Jordan fired four shots during the entire episode. He pointed his guns at at least five separate times at civilians and at least four separate times at officers.
Tuttle fired one round, Officer John Parmer of the Salem Police Department fired two rounds and Deputy Caleb Mott of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office fired two rounds.
No pedestrians, bystanders or officers were injured during the shooting.
Prosecutors said Mott has six years of service, Parmer has six years of service and Tuttle has four years of service.
The Keizer Police Department led the investigation of the shooting. Marion County requires that a police agency not involved in a fatal police shooting conduct the investigation. The Clackamas County Major Crime Team helped with the investigation, bringing detectives from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Molalla, Lake Oswego, Canby and Oregon City.
State Deputy Medical Examiner Ariel Viramontes conducted an autopsy the following day.
Jordan had no criminal convictions, prosecutors said.
“Our community is very fortunate to have police professionals who willingly run toward these incredibly violent incidents to keep us all safe. Their response speaks to their bravery in the face of extreme danger. And just as nobody wanted this to occur on this day, nobody wanted this result for Mr. Jordan. We offer our condolences to his family and loved ones,” Clarkson wrote in her statement.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.