Athena Officer Shoots, Kills Suspect


An Athena man was shot and killed Monday morning by an Athena police officer following a high-speed pursuit.

The deceased, 55-year-old Tere David King, was fatally shot by Athena police Sgt. Erik Palmer around 7:20 a.m. Monday morning on Pamburn Road south of Highway 11, according to Umatilla County District Attorney Daniel Primus.

Palmer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting.

What led to the shooting actually began Saturday when a Milton-Freewater police officer attempted to contact King on an unrelated matter. King eluded the officer, according to Primus, and began a high-speed chase involving several law enforcement agencies including Athena police, the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, College Place police, Walla Walla County Sheriff’s deputies and the Oregon State Police.

King, a convicted felon, was wanted a numerous charges including unlawful use and possession of firearms, pointing a firearm at another, recklessly endangering another person, and second-degree criminal trespass. Primus said he was considered armed and dangerous and law enforcement continued to locate King throughout the weekend.

On Monday morning, Palmer located King and his vehicle on Pamburn Road. While waiting for backup before approaching King, the suspect drove his vehicle at Palmer, who shot out King’s tires. King then exited his vehicle with a firearm and Palmer fatally shot him once, according to Primus.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are continuing the investigation including the Oregon State Police Crime Lab.

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