DOJ Review Complete Regarding Officer-Involved-Shooting
Nov. 20, 2018
On October 5, 2018, law enforcement stopped a vehicle being driven by Mr. Phillip Moskios Jr. on Hwy 97 near Modoc Point Rd. The traffic stop was made in conjunction with an ongoing drug investigation by the Basin Interagency Narcotics Team (BINET) with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Mr. Moskios had recently been released from the Oregon State Department of Corrections after serving over 16 years, was a convicted felon with prior weapon and drug offenses, and had been released to state and federal supervision.
During the traffic stop, Mr. Moskios, who was reported to be armed, assaulted one of the officers and fled on foot. Mr. Moskios directed his attention toward other officers a short distance from the initial stop and ran directly at one of the officers. Mr. Moskios intentionally made movements leading the officers to believe he was retrieving a gun to use against the officers.
Two officers fired at Mr. Moskios resulting in his death. Investigators later found Mr. Moskios was in possession of a handgun, as well as a substantial amount of methamphetamine and cash that he left in his vehicle as he fled. Due to the involvement of a federal agency, Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello enlisted the assistance of the Oregon Department of Justice.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, an agency not involved in the incident, led the investigation. This investigation included interviews with the officers present, and interviews with Mr. Moskios Jr.’s family members, friends and coworkers. Additional evidence considered included scene diagrams and videos of the incident.
The Department of Justice conducted an intensive review of the matter and concluded that “criminal prosecution of the involved officers is not appropriate”, indicating the officers acted lawfully and within the scope and performance of their duties.
In conformance with policy and best practices, the Klamath Falls Police Department convened a Response to Force Review Board and found the involved KFPD officer, Detective Corporal Christopher Zupan, had acted lawfully and was justified in his use of deadly force under Klamath Falls Police Department Policy and Oregon law.
Corporal Christopher Zupan is a veteran officer with over 20 years law enforcement experience and has an exemplary service record to the citizens of Klamath Falls. After being placed on administrative leave (per officer involved shooting policy and best practices), Corporal Zupan has returned to full-duty based upon the investigative findings.
The Klamath Falls Police Department wishes to thank the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon Department of Justice, and the Oregon State Police for cooperatively working with this investigation. We also wish to thank Klamath County Fire District No. 1 and the Oregon Department of Transportation for their services on October 5th, 2018, in furtherance of the mission to keep the citizens of Klamath Falls safe.