Marion County Grand Jury Clears Silverton Cop's Use of deadly force
Story by by Oregon Herald staff
At approximately 12:49 pm, on that day, Margarita Bluestone reported to Silverton Police that she had been assaulted by her husband, William Bluestone, at her apartment in Silverton earlier that morning. She further reported that after that assault William Bluestone had forced her out of her apartment and would not let her take their three month old child. Margarita Bluestone gave police consent to enter her apartment and provided them with the key.
Aside from the reported domestic violence crime of Felony Assault IV, a records check confirmed that William Bluestone had a Probation Violation Warrant for his arrest at that time as well.
Several Silverton Police Officers then responded to 911 Reserve St. in Silverton, and attempted to make contact with William Bluestone. Officers knocked on the door and loudly identified themselves as police. Though no one answered the door officers could hear noises inside the apartment, including a baby crying. Eventually police used the key provided to them by Margarita Bluestone to enter the apartment.
Upon entering, police located a male juvenile sitting on the couch next to a baby. After both the juvenile and the baby were removed from the apartment police eventually located William Bluestone hiding under a bed. William Bluestone told police he had a gun. The officers then backed out of the room and took cover on either side of the doorway. From that location Officers Timothy Hein and Jonathan Lamoreaux attempted to negotiate with William Bluestone in an effort to get him to surrender peacefully.
At some point during the negotiation William Bluestone partially crawled out from under the bed with a gun in his hand. Police gave multiple orders to drop the gun though William Bluestone refused and instead alternated between pointing the gun at his own head and chest and even put the gun in his mouth for a time.
William Bluestone demanded that he be allowed to see his wife and kids but continued to refuse to put down his gun. During this standoff Silverton Police called for assistance from other agencies, including Salem Police SWAT.
After more than one hour of attempting to negotiate, William Bluestone began yelling at Officers Hein and Lamoreaux and then suddenly shot himself in the chest. In response to William Bluestone's actions, Officer Hein, who was unsure who William Bluestone was shooting at, immediately fired a single shot, striking William Bluestone in the abdomen as he was falling backwards.
Police then rushed to William Bluestone's aid, and after disarming him, attempted to perform life saving measures. The SWAT medic and EMT's who had staged nearby quickly entered the apartment and also attempted to treat William Bluestone, however, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The entire incident was caught on police body cameras, though due to very tight quarters and the fact that police were using ballistic shields for protection, the camera's view is often obstructed. The audio portion of the recording, however, is complete.
An autopsy performed at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office the following day determined that both bullets had passed through William Bluestone's heart and that either shot alone would have been fatal.
The Oregon State Police conducted the investigation and the Marion County District Attorney's Office presented evidence to the Grand Jury. That evidence included witness testimony, the Medical Examiner's report, photographs, a Faro Scan and the police body camera recordings. Based on that evidence and the relevant legal principles the Grand Jury unanimously ruled that the use of deadly force by Silverton Police Officer Timothy Hein was justified.