The Klamath County Grand Jury determined the officer involved shooting on December 29, 2018 was justified. The Grand Jury reviewed the Oregon State Police investigation, heard testimony from Deputies on scene, a Crisis Intervention Team member from Klamath Basin Behavioral Health and the statements of the involved officers, Deputy Leach and Deputy McAdams.
On December 29, 2018, 911 Dispatch received an emergency call from Mark Farrell’s mother, indicating he had attacked her and she was in fear for her life.
Klamath County Sheriff’s office responded to the scene with information in CAD notes indicating the residence, in particular Mark Farrell, created an officer safety risk and had mental health issues. Upon communication with Mr. Farrell’s parents it was determined he had threatened to kill his mother during a physical assault of her.
At the time, he had barricaded himself in his home (a residence on the same property as his parents) and when contacted by law enforcement indicated they would have to kill him in order to arrest him. Law enforcement had Mr. and Mrs. Farrell leave the property for their own safety.
Under current Oregon law, ORS 133.055, when a domestic altercation occurs between adults related by blood and the police have probable cause to arrest the perpetrator, law enforcement is required to arrest the individual in order to remove the continued threat to the victim.
Sergeant Ryan Kaber contacted the Crisis Intervention Team, and Deputy Justin Deese arrived with a Klamath Basin Behavioral health counselor. The counselor attempted to contact with Mr. Farrell to no avail.
Shortly thereafter, Mark Farrell exited the back door of his home, having spotted Deputy Leach at the corner of the garage.
Mark Farrell was yelling “I see you pig,” and “Come and get me pig.”
He began to advance on Deputy Leach while holding a knife. Deputy Leach gave him numerous commands to drop the knife while moving backwards and away from Mark Farrell. Mr. Farrell failed to comply with commands and began to run toward Deputy Leach.
Deputy McAdams had run to the area upon hearing Deputy Leach’s increasingly emotive commands for Mr. Farrell to drop the knife. Both Deputies fired on Mr. Farrell. Mr. Farrell was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr. Farrell suffered from numerous mental health challenges and, upon searching his residence, it was determined he had not been taking his medicine for some time (1900 tablets found unused). Mr. Farrell had talked about suicide by cop many times prior to this incident.
The tragedy from untreated mental health issues creates significant collateral damage.
Klamath County District Attorney’s office extends its sympathy to the Farrell family and to the involved Deputies. The Deputies came to serve and protect. Sadly they ended up needing to utilize deadly force in order to protect themselves.
We again thank the law enforcement community for the risks they take every day serving and protecting the citizens of Klamath County.
Press release provided from Klamath County District Attorney’s Office.