Shooting Justified, Says Klamath County Grand Jury

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, August 30 2013 at 2:50 PM, Updated: Fri, August 30 2013 at 3:06 PM

A grand jury has ruled that police were justified in shooting and killing a Klamath Falls man on the 20th of this month...despite the fact that the man was unarmed.

It happened August 20th in this quiet neighborhood.

911 scanner traffic told the story...

"Shots fired, shots fired!" - "Dispatch units, shots fired - code 6 on Portland."

Matt Borner was shot and killed during a standoff with police.

We asked Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge if Mr. Borner was armed...

"Mr. Borner was not armed.  But he was reaching into his pocket at the time, and the officer believed at the time - because he said at the time, 'I'm going to shoot you', that he had a gun."

"Turned out to be his cell phone."  Adds Klamath Falls Police Chief Jim Hunter.  "But that does not alter the fact that he made the threat, and that the officer felt threatened by that."

A grand jury says that Detective Peter York was justified in the shooting.

Scanner traffic just prior to the shooting indicates that Borner may have been desperate...

"Car to car 28-31 from 28-51."  "31"  "Just FYI, he's been making threats of suicide by cop."  "Copy."

The incident was initially sparked by a call from Kim Hart, a friend of Borner's...

"911."  "Hi - my car just got stolen."  "Okay, did you see it happen?"  "Yes - Matt Borner took it."

And while the officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing, police say the incident was unfortunate.

"This is the last thing that we want to do."  Stated Chief Hunter.  "And it's regrettable when people force us, by their actions, to take the action that we did."

We've been unable to contact any friends or relatives of Borner for reaction to the grand jury's ruling.

After being placed on administrative leave following the shooting, Detective Peter York will return to duty on Tuesday.

The Lane County District Attorney's Office has produced a video related to officer-involved shootings:  http://vimeo.com/29282684 

Incident Location

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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