BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County District Attorney says he will not file charges against a Deputy involved in a fatal shooting, June 20. "Based on all the available evidence," D.A. John Hummel said at a Tuesday press conference, "Deputy Zilk's belief that Powell was about to use deadly physical force against him is objectively reasonable. Because of this, Deputy Zilk's decision to use deadly physical force against Powell was authorized by Oregon law."
A 911 call brought Deputy Randy Zilk to a campsite off Century Drive at about 6:20 p.m.; the caller reported a man and woman were arguing and more than 10 shots had been fired. Hummel says Zilk ordered 44-year-old Jesse Powell to show his hands, but the man was uncooperative. He did get out of the vehicle where he'd been hiding, but when Zilk went to cuff him, Hummel says Powell resisted, "Powell dove back into the U-haul. [He] Didn't dive up on to the seats; dove to the floorboard on the passenger side. Deputy Zilk yelled 'Stop'!" Hummel says the deputy noticed a metal pipe on the floor of the truck and thought, at that point, his life was in danger. "Deputy Zilk felt that Powell was trying to retrieve that metal bar in order to attack Deputy Zilk. Deputy Zilk fired one shot into Powell's back." Despite life-saving efforts by Zilk, the man died at the scene. Investigators later found a loaded Glock handgun near the metal bar.
Hummel says, "Deputy Zilk says his belief was based on the totality of the circumstances, including the report of shots fired, and most significantly, Powell's continual frantic hand movements on the floor of the truck in spite of Deputy Zilk's orders to stop."
The U-Haul, a trailer, motorcycle, and a camper found at Powell's camp were all reported stolen from Deschutes County. The gun found inside the truck, and two others, were also reported stolen from Lane County. Last year, Powell was arrested by Springfield Police after he allegedly placed a hoax explosive device outside a building, causing a bomb scare, and a mass evacuation.