The first officer-involved shooting in Corvallis in more than 15 years resulted in the death of a 32-year-old Philomath man on Saturday morning. The man was armed with a knife, according to the Corvallis Police Department and the Benton County District Attorney's Office.
The incident occurred about 3:39 a.m. at the Days Inn at 1113 N.W. Ninth St. Three officers responded to reports from hotel staff that a man was acting aggressively and attempting to break into guests’ rooms. When the officers made contact with the subject, they “immediately called for emergency cover, stating the male was armed with a knife,” according to a CPD press release and a later statement from District Attorney John Haroldson.
The statement from Haroldson came with video of the incident, in which the man with the knife asked the officers "do you want to die/"
On the video five shots can be clearly heard. Emergency aid was provided, but the man, Jeffery W. Appelt, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The scene was still active at 11 a.m. Saturday. Officers from Corvallis Police Department, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office all were on-scene. One lane of Ninth Street was partially closed to southbound traffic.
Mobile command vehicles for both Corvallis Police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office were parked in front of the hotel. An emergency response tent was erected where the shooting appeared to have taken place, right next to evidence markers placed in the parking lot. One of the markers appeared to be placed next to a knife that still lay on the ground. Other markers looked to be identifying where bullet casings fell.
An eyewitness, who was staying at the hotel and requested to remain anonymous, said that she heard shouting and gunshots from her top-floor hotel room early Saturday morning.
“I heard a lot of yelling and then I heard about five shots,” the woman said.
Hotel guests were not able to leave the crime until about 11 a.m. Other guests at the hotel told the witness that they heard fewer shots, though several guests said that officers had responded to the parking lot earlier in the night, responding to some sort of dispute. It was hours later that they heard the incident unfolding that led to shots fired.
The investigation is ongoing and being handled by the Albany Police Department and the Benton County Major Crimes Team. The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pursuant to state laws that require law enforcement officers to be removed from active duty following an incident where deadly force is used. Administrative leave is not considered a suspension or disciplinary action.
The last time there was an officer-involved shooting in Corvallis was in November of 2005, when officers shot and killed a 50-year-old man armed with a metal rod near the corner of Harrison Boulevard and 15th Street.
Gallery: Officer-involved shooting in Corvallis
A 32-year-old Philomath man was pronounced dead at the scene of an officer-involved shooting at the Days Inn in Corvallis early Saturday morning. The man was armed with a knife, according to a press release from the Corvallis Police Department.