Names released in officer-involved shooting

By Observer staff August 30, 2013 11:19 am

The Oregon State Police have released more details about Thursday’s officer-involved shooting during a traffic stop along Interstate 84 east of Biggs Junction in Sherman County.

The officer involved in the shooting is Trooper Matthew Zistel, 26, who is assigned in the Patrol Services Division at The Dalles Area Command office. Zistel has been with OSP for five years. He was treated and released Thursday evening from Mid-Columbia Medical Center for a minor gunshot wound injury to his left side. 

The driver killed in the shootout has been identified as John Van Allen II. The 34-year-old has previous addresses in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, but was most recently residing in the Portland area.

During the incident he was accompanied in the vehicle by his three children; a 10-year old girl and two boys ages 13 and 15. They were placed in Department of Human Services' custody last night and their names are not being released.

An autopsy completed Friday morning at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office concluded Allen died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Preliminary investigation indicates Allen was shot by the trooper during the exchange of gunfire.

Zistel was working construction zone traffic safety overtime enforcement when he stopped the vehicle for a speeding violation. During the traffic stop, Allen and the trooper fired more than one round from their handguns. The total number of rounds fired is not being released at this time due to pending interview and investigation review by the District Attorney.

The multi-agency investigating team is comprised of personnel from OSP Criminal Investigations Division, Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Sheriff's Office and The Dalles Police Department.

Both east and westbound lanes of I-84 were closed for several hours. The westbound lanes were open about 6:20 p.m. and one eastbound lane opened shortly thereafter.