Yesterday, Oregon State Police released video footage of a roadside shootout between a state trooper and a motorist. The August 29 shooting left the motorist, who was traveling with his three young children, dead, and the trooper wounded.

The video starts with Trooper Matt Zistel pulling over John Van Allen, a 34-year-old former Army Reservist. Allen exits the car and assumes what The Oregonian describes as a military pose. Ignoring Zistel’s warnings, Allen approaches the squad car, pulls out a pistol, and begins firing at Zistel, hitting the trooper in his side.

Zistel returns fire, wounding Allen in the chest. Allen continues firing, then climbs in his car and speeds off. Zistel radios in the incident: “Shots fired” and moments later, “I’ve been hit in the side. I’m okay.”


Officers found Allen’s car half a mile down the road; Allen was inside, dead. Zistel was treated at a local hospital and released. While he’s been on administrative leave since the shooting, an investigation by the Sherman County District Attorney concluded that Zistel’s use of force was justified.

Allen was reportedly returning to his home in South Carolina at the time of the shooting.