BOB HERMANN

DISTRICT ATTORNEY
WASHINGTON COUNTY
Justice Services Building
150 N. First Avenue, Suite 300, MS 40
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124-3002
(503)846-8671
FAX: (503)846-3407

July 14, 2017

Travis Hampton
Oregon State Police Superintendent
3565 Trelstad Avenue SE
Salem, Oregon 97317

RE: December 25, 2016 Officer Involved Shooting
Deceased: James Tylka

Dear Superintendent Hampton:

On December 25, 2016, the Washington County Major Crimes Team investigated three
related incidents: the murder of Katelynn Tylka, the officer-involved shooting of James
Tylka, and the attempted aggravated murder of Trooper Nic Cederberg. In a letter
dated February 14, 2017, our office concluded that James Tylka murdered Katelynn
Tylka and, but for his subsequent death, would have been prosecuted. In a February
22, 2017 letter we concluded that the officers who shot and killed James Tylka were
legally justified in doing so. What was not addressed in either letter was whether
Trooper Nic Cederberg’s use of force against James Tylka was legally justified. I have
reviewed Major Crimes Team Detective Andy Hay’s investigation and now conclude that
Trooper Cederberg was entirely justified in using deadly force against James Tylka. A
summary of the investigation is outlined below.

At 10:16 pm on December 25, 2016, several neighbors called to report a homicide in
King City. Dispatch learned that the suspect was James Tylka, and that Tylka had left
the area in a white Mitsubishi. Trooper Cederberg was in Tigard on Bull Mountain at the
time that he received this information through dispatch. He travelled south on Highway
99W through King City and Sherwood. At 10:41 pm, Trooper Cederberg told dispatch
that he would be “checking the back roads” for Tylka’s car. Trooper Cederberg’s patrol
car was equipped with a dash mounted video camera, which captured video throughout,
and audio after Trooper Cederberg activated his overhead lights.

At 10:48 pm, Trooper Cederberg located Tylka on Bell Road “headed back toward
[Highway] 99.” Trooper Cederberg asked whether Tylka was armed, and dispatch
confirmed that he was. Tylka ignored visual and audible commands to stop and
continued northbound on Bell Road past the Highway 99W intersection, where Bell
Road becomes SW Gimm Lane. As Trooper Cederberg passed the “Dead End” road
sign on SW Gimm Lane, Tylka fired his gun at Trooper Cederberg. Trooper
Cederberg’s dash-cam captured a muzzle flash, and a faint “pop” is audible. A few
seconds later, Tylka fired several more rounds at Trooper Cederberg.

When Tylka reached the dead end, he turned around and drove back at Trooper
Cederberg. Audio captured the Mitsubishi’s engine revving as Tylka accelerated
directly towards Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car from about 30 yards away. Trooper
Cederberg stopped and placed his car in park. It is clear that Tylka intended to ram
Trooper Cederberg’s car. Trooper Cederberg exited his car and opened fire on Tylka,
firing 16 rounds in rapid succession as Tylka crashed into the patrol car’s right front
bumper. Evidence at the scene, including bullet defects, blood stains, and pooled blood
in the driver’s seat, indicate that Trooper Cederberg shot Tylka once while Tylka was
still in his car. When Tylka later appeared on video, he had blood visible on his lower
right jaw and mouth area. At Tylka’s autopsy, Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr.
Karen Gunson noted a gunshot wound to the right neck, with a mushroomed bullet
recovered from Tylka’s right jaw. This bullet did not strike any major blood vessels.

Immediately after the crash, Tylka fired six rounds at Trooper Cederberg through the
closed passenger window of his Mitsubishi. Trooper Cederberg reacted audibly to
being hit by the fifth or sixth round and radioed that he’d been shot. A few seconds
later, Trooper Cederberg can be heard saying “where’s my gun,” and less than two
seconds later Tylka emerged on video. Tylka walked from driver’s side rear to the
passenger side rear of his car, apparently looking for Trooper Cederberg. Trooper
Cederberg reloaded his duty pistol and fired 16 more rounds towards Tylka, forcing
Tylka down behind his trunk. Tylka fired more rounds at Trooper Cederberg during the
exchange.

As Trooper Cederberg again reloaded, Tylka rushed towards Cederberg’s position and
fired three rounds. Tylka then leaned over the hood and fired seven more rounds in
rapid succession at Trooper Cederberg from very close range. It appears that Tylka
fired the last few rounds while standing directly over Trooper Cederberg. Only 50
seconds elapsed from the time Tylka sped towards Trooper Cederberg in his Mitsubishi
to the moment Tylka fired the last close-range shot at Trooper Cederberg.

Trooper Cederberg sustained gunshot wounds to the right hip, right wrist, left tibia, left
triceps, left torso, and two to the left armpit area. Trooper Cederberg’s ballistic vest
sustained five additional bullet strikes. Detective Hays inspected and photographed
Trooper Cederberg’s vest on January 4, 2017. He found two mushroomed hollow point
9 mm rounds, consistent with those fired by Tylka, still lodged in the vest. In total,
Trooper Cederberg was shot 12 times.

After Tylka emptied his magazine, he walked back to the front of Trooper Cederberg’s
patrol car to reload his pistol. Tylka inserted a new magazine then racked the slide
while cupping his non-firing hand over the ejection port, “stove-piping” a cartridge in the
process. After unsuccessfully trying to remove the stove-piped round with his teeth,
Tylka ran back to Trooper Cederberg’s position and stole Trooper Cederberg’s duty
pistol. Tylka pointed the gun towards Trooper Cederberg and fired another round.
Detective Hays later located a small horizontal hole in Trooper Cederberg’s beanie cap,
consistent with a bullet grazing the cap. Sirens grew louder as other officers neared
SW Gimm Lane, and Tylka ran out of camera view for the last time.

Because of the seriousness of the injuries suffered by Trooper Cederberg, investigators
were unable to interview him for several months. On March 9, 2017 Detective Hays
spoke with Trooper Cederberg. Trooper Cederberg told Detective Hays that he made
the decision to fire his weapon and use deadly force because he believed that his “life
was in danger.” Overwhelming video and audio evidence supports Trooper
Cederberg’s position. ORS 161.219 describes the circumstances in which a person is
justified in using deadly physical force. It is clear, after my review of this investigation,
that Trooper Cederberg acted under the reasonable belief that James Tylka was “using
or about to use unlawful deadly physical force” against Trooper Cederberg at the time
he fired his weapon.

We have completed our review of this matter. The investigative materials are now
available pursuant to Oregon Public Records laws, with the exception of audio and
video from Trooper Cederberg’s dash mounted video camera. The video and audio
contain information of a personal nature, and it is my belief that disclosure would
constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy.

Sincerely,

Bracken McKey
Senior Deputy District Attorney