Two police officers were “legally justified” in the deadly shooting of a parent at an Oregon middle school in February as video of the fatal encounter was released.
The Lane County District Attorney’s Office said the incident occurred as Eugene police officers Aaron Johns and Steve Timm were trying to arrest 30-year-old Charles Landeros after a custody argument at Cascade Middle School.
Landeros, seen wearing a “smash the patriarchy” shirt in video released by police, refused to leave the premises when asked by school resource officers.
Landeros was a member of Community Armed Self Defense, a group that was created as a “new liberatory and inclusive space for all oppressed peoples to learn about armed self-defense,” according to the group’s Facebook page, which is no longer publicly available on Facebook as of 4 p.m. Saturday, Daily Emerald reported.
Community Armed Self Defense’s Facebook page said that they could not count on the police to protect marginalized people and that firearms help marginalized groups protect themselves.
“The police are not here to protect us. They are more likely to harm us themselves than they are to ‘serve or protect’ us,” the group wrote on their Facebook page description.
According to police, Landeros went to the middle school on January 11 over a conflict with his former spouse about their daughter. Landeros had apparently enrolled his daughter in the school against her mother’s wishes. When school officials learned that the mother had sole custody, they called on school resource officers, Aaron Johns and Steve Timm, to remove Landeros. Landeros, who was wearing a “Smash the Patriarchy” shirt, refused and then resisted arrest, attempting to flee outside.
An officer attempted to keep Landeros from running, as the bodycam footage below shows, and Landeros resisted, eventually drawing his concealed firearm. The Oregonian describes the frantic and ultimately fatal moment:
Perlow said the officers then tried to arrest Landeros on suspicion of disorderly conduct and trespassing. Johns pushes Landeros outside through the front doors and Timm follows, the video shows. Landeros yells for Johns to get off him and pushes the officer away.
Landeros and Johns struggle and Landeros pulls out a handgun as he and the officer fall to the ground. Perlow said the video footage shows Landeros pointed the gun at Timm and he fires two rounds that miss the officer.
Timm fired once and hit Landeros in the head.
“Officer Timm saved the life of Officer Johns, himself and perhaps many others given the number of rounds Charles Landeros had loaded in his weapon,” said the district attorney. “There is no clearer circumstance that the use of deadly force is justified than this.”
Tragically, Landeros’ daughter reportedly witnessed the entire confrontation, as did some of the other middle school students.