THE CLACKAMAS COUNTY Sheriff's department responded last week to an area teen's attempted suicide by shooting him dead. What began as a 9-1-1 call to negotiate with an eighteen-year-old armed with a handgun ended with a small army crawling across a wooded patch of property adjacent to Highway 212.
The evening of May 26 began with Joshua Vetter, 18, discharging a few rounds of ammo into his grandparents doublewide at River Bend Mobile Home Park. Worried about the boy's safety and undoubtedly their own, the grandparents called the county sheriff. When officers arrived, they heard several more shots from the area near the trailer homes.
The deputies called in the big guns: the Clackamas County SWAT team. Armed with sniper rifles and 9 millimeter sub-machine guns, the team attempted to surround the youth. In addition, they called in one of the state police's helicopters to monitor the youth's movements from the air.
Police called out over bullhorns to Vetter, but, according to the official report, the teen did not respond. At various times, Vetter pointed the handgun at his head and chest. For more than two hours, as the police helicopter hovered overhead and SWAT members maneuvered throughout the area, Vetter traipsed through the forest.
At 7:45 pm, Vetter began to stagger towards two officers and a police canine. When Vetter did not respond to police demands to halt, they shot him. The exact number of bullets fired remains under investigation. Vetter died on the scene. PHIL BUSSE
LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
WHILE GOOD FENCES may make good neighbors, apparently the same doesn't hold for guns and cell phone towers. Over the past year, tensions have intensified in a bucolic neighborhood of Sandy, Ore. after George Culp leased a section of his raspberry farm to AT&T, where they planned to erect a 250-foot cell phone tower. Frustrated the proposed structure would eclipse views of Mt. Hood, nearly two dozen neighbors voiced complaints.
At 2:55 am Tuesday morning, five bullets were fired from a Magnum .357 handgun into Culp's home. It's unclear what the exact target was. Two bullets passed through the family's living room. One slug was extracted from a book at the foot of the son's bed and another from the exterior wall of the house. A fifth bullet penetrated the family's SUV, which was parked outside at the time. AUSTIN WORK