COOS BAY — Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier held a press conference on Monday to release the names of the officers involved in a fatal shooting Saturday morning in Coos Bay.
The officers are:
Coos Bay Police Officer Dan Henthorn. Henthorn was originally hired by the Coos County Sheriff's Office in 2006. In 2009, he was hired by the Coquille Police Department and in 2016, he was hired by the Coos Bay Police Department.
Officer Doug Laird of the Confederated Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Tribal Police Department. Laird was hired, initially by the Coquille Police Department in 1993. In 1994, he was hired by the North Bend Police Department. In 1997, Laird was hired by a police department in another state. In 2013, Laird returned to Coos County and was hired by the Coos County Sheriff's Office. In February 2015, Laird was hired by the Confederated Tribal Police.
Oregon State Trooper Kurtis Matthews was hired by the State Police in 2016.
Frasier said the officers are on paid administrative leave pending a review of the shooting by Frasier. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office was invited to handle the investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of Eric Sweet, following two high-speed pursuits through Coos Bay and North Bend. Both pursuits were called off for safety reasons, Frasier said.
Officers arrived at Sweet's home at 475 Johnson Ave. later that morning to find his car parked several feet from the curb with the driver's door open. Sweet later exited the house with a rifle and was ordered to drop his weapon by officers at the scene.
According to Frasier's office, Sweet pointed the rifle toward one of the officers, resulting in all three officers opening fire. Sweet died from his wounds at the scene.
Earlier that day, Sweet did stop by the Coos Bay Police Department because he thought the police were looking for him. Officers at the station told Sweet they were not looking for him and Sweet left. However, police did discover that Sweet had a suspended driver license. They made attempts to contact Sweet to tell him not to drive, according to Frasier. Police later spotted him driving Saturday morning and made an attempt to stop him and a pursuit ensued.
Coos Bay Police called off the pursuit for safety reasons. North Bend Police later spotted Sweet and also attempted to make a traffic stop. A pursuit, again ensued and it was later called off for safety reasons. Police then went to Sweet's Johnson Avenue residence to arrest him for felony eluding and driving with a suspended license and that's when the shooting occurred, according to Frasier.
The autopsy on Sweet's body is scheduled for Tuesday.