New Details In Police Shooting At McMinnville Apartment Building

McMINNVILLE, Ore. — Investigators are releasing additional information about the events leading up to a man being shot and killed by police outside an apartment building last week.

Residents of Vineyard Heights Assisted Living at SW Hill Road and Barbara Street were told there was somebody armed with a gun on the sidewalk and staff heard a gunshot.  Neighboring businesses in a strip mall went into lockdown on Tuesday afternoon.

Police say 69-year-old Laurence Dickson, who was suicidal, had called to report that he felt like he was going to harm himself.  Officers asked him to come outside and talk with them.  He exited the apartment building with what officers thought was a firearm that turned out to be an air gun that’s designed to resemble a revolver and pointed it one of the officers.

“Officer Schwartz told Dickson to drop the weapon, but Dickson pointed it at Officer Schwartz.  Officer Schwartz fired one round from his department-issued rifle, striking Dickson in the chest.  Officers began to render medical aid and called for medics, but Dickson was declared deceased at the scene,” said McMinnville Police.

The two officers involved are on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.  Officer Justin Schwartz began his law enforcement career with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 and has worked for the McMinnville Police Department since 2017.  Officer Cody Williams is a three-year veteran of McMinnville Police and previously worked as a police officer in Kansas.

One neighbor says he believes the man lived in the building for the past few weeks.  Police were seen searching an apartment after the shooting.

Oregon State Police is leading the investigation.

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