New details and a final verdict was recently released, regarding the fatal shooting that involved Lincoln City Police Department (LCPD) officers last month.
After days of reviewing videos, photos, autopsy reports and scene diagrams, Lincoln County District Attorney Jonathan Cable said the LCPD officers were justified in their actions.
On April 2, shortly after 10 p.m. LCPD Officer Hayden Tolzman observed an unknown male walking through bushes near the Safeway store onto Chinook Winds Casino property. The casino was entirely closed due to COVID-19 and Tolzman observed the unknown male standing near the window of the administrative building. The male said he was looking for cigarettes and refused to identify himself and then walked back south toward the Safeway parking lot.
As soon as the male walked away, Tolzman spoke to a casino security officer. Tolzman was informed about a recent break-in and theft on casino property and after speaking to LCPD Sergeant Robert Bomar, Tolzman decided to detain the man to identify him for investigation of trespassing and suspicious activity.
The man was found standing near the Rite Aid store at the south end of the parking lot. Other officers responded to that location.
Tolzman told the man he was detained, and immediately noted the handle of a large knife sticking out of the front of the left side of the suspect’s waist. The suspect provided an Idaho driver’s license number and dispatchers were able to identify him as David A. Xanatos, 40, of Payette, Idaho, which was verified by comparing the driver’s license photo to the suspect.
Dispatchers informed Tolzman that the suspect had an arrest from Oct. 19, 2018 in Pierce County, Washington for: Assault II, Criminal Trespass II, Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and a Dangerous Weapon Violation. He was convicted of Assault in the third degree, a person felony on Jan. 14, 2019. He also had an arrest as recently as Feb. 10, 2020 by the Gold Bar Police Department in Washington for Dangerous Weapon Violation, that case was still pending at the time of this incident.
A total of five officers were soon present at the scene. They were positioned in a semi-circle in front of Xanatos and the Rite Aid Store. Xanatos was informed that officers were concerned that the knife he had was prohibited. Officers told him they needed to look at the knife, that if the knife was not prohibited they would return it. If it was prohibited, they would give him a citation and let him be on his way.
Bomar negotiated with Xanatos for over 20 minutes, pleading for him to put the knife down. David Xanatos refused, saying “I’ve grown attached to it.”
“Officers told him over and over to please put the weapon down, they wanted the encounter to end peacefully. Bomar repeatedly stated, ‘it’s not worth it, it’s not worth the outcome… the peaceful way is the best way to go with this,’” Cable said in his report.
One of the officers had a less than lethal 20 mm foam launcher, which fires a hard foam projectile to disable a subject. Tazers were not an option given the heavy clothing that Xanatos was wearing. He took several steps toward Bomar who backed up. He was warned he would be hit with foam round if he continued.
He took several more steps in Bomar’s direction. He was hit with the less than lethal foam round. It did not have the desired effect he bent over slightly then he immediately stood back up fully. He continued to advance, drew the knife from his belt and ran at Bomar. The three officers all fired and Xanatos was later pronounced dead by medical staff at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.
The District’s Attorney’s office was notified immediately along with other members of the Lincoln County Major Crime Team. Assistance was provided by officers from the Toledo Police Department, Newport Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the medical examiner.
“I responded to assist with the investigation along with two Deputy District Attorneys,” Cable said.
In compliance with Senate Bill 111, and the Lincoln County Deadly Physical Force Plan, the Oregon State Police were contacted to conduct the investigation. The Deadly Physical Force Plan requires that an outside agency not involved in the use of force must take the lead in the subsequent investigation. Several Detectives from the Oregon State Police, both locally and from Salem responded and subsequently spent several weeks conducting a very through investigation.
“I received the remaining videos and reports from the Oregon State Police,” Cable said. “I have reviewed approximately seven hours of body and dash camera video, as well as photos, autopsy reports and scene diagrams. I was also able to listen to the interviews of all five officers who were involved and present, they all cooperated fully with this investigation.”
Cable said that he has not yet received the toxicology reports, regarding drug and alcohol use for Xanatos, but said the results would not have impacted his decision.
“As the District Attorney of Lincoln County, I find that the actions of all three officers was justified under the circumstances… No crimes were committed so this case will not be presented to the Grand Jury,” Cable said. “Every loss of life is tragic, but in this instance, David Xanatos left the officers no choice.”