A Dallas man was shot and killed in Goodwill store in west Salem on Sept. 18. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

The Dallas man shot and killed by police in a busy Goodwill store in west Salem last week apparently struggled with methamphetamine while facing a string of charges in recent years, court records show.

Scott Gabriel Spangler, 43, had pleaded guilty to drug charges, faced probation violations for failing drug tests and was arrested on several weapons charges, according to court records. He was the divorced father of three, the records show.

The Salem Police Department is continuing its investigation into the shooting before turning over the results to Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton. Felton said he expects the case to go before a grand jury in early October. The district attorney said this is the fourth time someone has been killed by law enforcement in Polk County since 2013.

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Police have released little about the shooting, but identified a Dallas police officer, Darren Buchholz, as the one who shot Spangler. Buchholz started his 14-year career as a reserve for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. After stints with the cities of Independence and Salem, he joined the Dallas Police Department in 2013.

Buchholz was part of a police narcotics team in place in west Salem last week during a drug investigation. Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton said officers were at the Goodwill early Wednesday afternoon to buy narcotics from Spangler. He wouldn’t comment on how long law enforcement had been investigating Spangler.

“It’s not uncommon for drug deals to happen 24/7 in public places, in private places. They happen all the time and people just don’t pay attention,” Garton said.

He said the officers, five in total, weren’t in full patrol uniforms but were plainly marked.

Spangler ran from officers into the Goodwill. Authorities have declined to say whether Spangler was armed.

Available court records show Spangler was convicted in 1996 of possession of controlled substance in Marion County. He was charged two other times that year for drug possession, but the cases were dismissed. He was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.

In 2015, Spangler shot himself in the chest with a pistol, according to court records. A little more than a month later, Buchholz arrested Spangler for illegally having a firearm.

During that arrest, Spangler encountered Buchholz, telling the officer that he had been depressed and his medications were off, according to court documents.

The following year Spangler was arrested for possessing methamphetamine and again illegally having a weapon because he was a felon. Police found Spangler with two spring-loaded knives while he was sitting in a car parked at an apartment complex in Dallas at 2:40 a.m.

In 2017, Spangler spent six months in county jail after violating his parole by not taking drug tests.

In the probation violation report, parole officer Rick Garner wrote: “Mr. Spangler has been late to multiple appointments, and has failed to submit to multiple urinalysis tests. The writer has warned Mr. Spangler numerous times about missing urinalysis tests.”

Earlier this year, Spangler was arrested for being a felon in possession of a weapon when Dallas police officer Matt Carballo found a spring-loaded knife in a van registered to Spangler. His trial was set to begin in November. 

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, saphara@salemreporter.com or @daisysaphara.