A 61 yr old man by the name of Ralph C. Turner, who is in poor health, became suicidal after his girlfriend told him that she was kicking him out of her house. Turner said that had no other friends or relatives to turn to, and feared becoming homeless, with no where to go. Turner had just recently recovered from extensive open heart surgery. He also suffers from serious liver problems, brought on by years of alcoholism.
The girlfriend called Portland, OR police when she learned that he had become suicidal.
Three officers came to the front door of the home to do a welfare check on Turner. However, Turner then opened fire on them, shooting multiple bullets through the door at the officers. One officer suffered minor superficial injuries caused by wood flying out of the door.
The Officers then retreated, and the block surrounding the home was cordoned off, with many more officers arriving on the scene. One of these officers, Officer Parik Singh, 37, a 14-year departmen veteran, was about to take up a position roughly 80 yards from the home in a park across the street, when he was shot by Turner.
Turner had swtiched from using a handgun, to instead using a scope deer rifle in .243 Winchester caliber. A bullet from Turner's rifle hit Singh low in his abdomen, below his protective vest. Singh underwent emergency surgery, and is said to still be in serious condition. However, he fortunately is expected to make a full recovery.
Police negotiators then contacted Turner over the phone, and convinced him to surrender.
Besides alcoholism, Turner's body has also been ravaged by many years of addiction to heroin. He married and divorced 4 times, and spent the last 20 years living with his mother, until her death a year ago.
Police have charged Turner with a total of 5 counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
Most ironically, Turner will now have a place to stay and food to eat, and tax payers will also now be fully responsible for all of his expensive medical care. He is facing a very long prison sentence, and the law requires that the state take care of any medical problems that he is suffering from.
When interviewed by the press, the gunman's brother Mark Turner praised the Portland Police Department profusely for their handling of the incident, especially for them not killing his brother.
To be honest, though, I don't know if this outcome is really much better.
Here is a photo taken of Turner sitting in a wheel chair during his arraignment for attempted murder:
If you would like to read the full details of this story, check it out on this web page:
Brother of man accused of shooting Portland officer says Ralph Turner feared being eviction from girlfriend's house | OregonLive.com
Lots of very difficult societal issues are highlighted here in this case. Unfortunately, I don't see any easy solutions to them.