BEND,OR-- Deschutes County's District Attorney named the man who held a High Desert Museum employee against her will and threatened to kill her Tuesday afternoon. D.A. John Hummel says 36-year-old Nicholas Berger had recently moved to Bend.
A 911 call alerted authorities to the incident at the museum. Berger, who was visiting the museum, grabbed a 38-year-old employee in the gift shop and dragged her through the museum. "A violent struggle ensued with the woman fighting for her life," Hummel said at a Wednesday press conference.
Berger is 6'6" and 425 pounds; the victim is 5'3" and petite. The woman struggled to break away and several patrons helped. Hummel says, "This small woman who had the will to live - the fight inside of her was darned impressive. She was grabbing onto hand rails to prevent herself from being taken away." Berger eventually released her.
When the first OSP trooper arrived with Deschutes County Sheriff's deputies, they encountered Berger. "A taser was deployed by an Oregon State Police Trooper, and that same Trooper also fired three shots at Berger." The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Tri County Major Crimes Team is investigating whether this officer involved shooting is justified. D.A. Hummel says, "After all witnesses have been interviewed, all videos examined, the investigation results from the Tri County Major Crimes Team will be forwarded to me. I will review that and ask myself the question, after fully vetting this with my staff, my colleagues in law enforcement, 'do I think a crime was committed?' If I think a crime was committed, I will refer the matter to the Grand Jury to investigate. If I think a crime was not committed, I will not seek criminal charges."
An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, in an effort to help determine what might have led to the attack.