As of Thursday, February 28, 2013
PORTLAND — A gunman who wounded one person at an Oregon recreational vehicle park before he was fatally shot by law enforcement officers was evicted from the park last week after making threats.
The owners of the Silver Spur RV Park, in Silverton, identified the gunman Tuesday as Jim Hickey, and police later confirmed the 78-year-old as the shooter.
Co-owner Terry Glenn said Hickey had been delusional in recent months and was evicted last week after management learned he had a concealed weapon permit and threatened to kill people. The delusions included his belief in a conspiracy group trying to pump gas into his trailer and that other people were trying to hurt him.
Glenn said park owners twice asked Marion County Sheriff’s Office to evaluate Hickey and take his guns away. The sheriff’s office wouldn’t say if it took either step.
The county health department, citing privacy laws, declined to say if it had been asked by the sheriff’s office to conduct a mental health checkup on Hickey.
“Any removal of guns would have to come from police,” said Scott Richards, behavioral health division director. “We might evaluate somebody in the community to determine if they’re a danger to self or others, and then direct the police to take them into custody and take them to a hospital.”
Deputies responded Monday afternoon to emergency calls that described a man walking through the park with two handguns and a rifle, randomly shooting at people and RVs. Deputies spotted Hickey perched behind a picnic table, said Don Thomson, the sheriff’s office spokesman.
The gunman opened fire at deputies and one deputy returned fire, he said. Two state police troopers were fired on by the gunman and both returned fire, Thomson said.
Hickey died after being airlifted to a Portland hospital. An autopsy concluded that Hickey died from multiple gunshot wounds, said Capt. Jeffrey Kuhns of the Keizer Police Department, which is conducting the investigation.
Kuhns said investigators are not ready to release the type of weapons Hickey possessed or confirm that he had more than one.
Richard Hill, who has lived in the park for two years, told the Statesman Journal newspaper that Hickey, before his eviction, had been taking down license numbers of people he wanted to shoot.
“We tried for weeks and weeks to get this guy some help,” Hill said. “Everyone was so scared; they had to kick him out.”
The man wounded in the incident, 32-year-old Nicholas Lee Fisher, remained at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel on Tuesday with a non-life threatening injury. He is the assistant park manager.
Park manager Matt Barker posted a note on the office window that said Fisher is in “good spirits” and expected to fully recover.
The sheriff’s deputy and two state troopers who fired shots have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
District Attorney Walt Beglau will decide whether to present the case to a grand jury.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.