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'It was a lawful use of force under the circumstances for Trooper Ellis to return fire'

Deputies arrested Edward Paul Dungan, 30, on charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. (SBG; Lane County Jail)

EUGENE, Ore. - An Oregon State Police trooper shot while investigating a report of a stolen car had legal justification to return fire, the Lane County District Attorney said.

Trooper Gerald Ellis attempted to make contact with Edward Paul Dungan on September 12, District Attorney Patty Perlow said.

"Mr. Dungan fired at Trooper Ellis and struck him in his protective vest," Perlow said. "Trooper Ellis then returned fire, but did not strike Mr. Dungan."

That shooting and the fatal shooting of a man who pointed an AK-47 at Eugene Police both happened in September, calling out the county's Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team for a fourth and fifth time this calendar year.

"The review was whether Trooper Ellis's use of force was lawful under those circumstances," Perlow said, "and the determination is that it was a lawful use of force under the circumstances for Trooper Ellis to return fire."

Dungan was later taken into custody and charged with Aggravated Attempted Murder and other charges.

"Because of the pending criminal case and Mr. Dungan's right to a fair trial, we won't be making any additional comments in regard to that incident," Perlow said.

Dungan is due back in court October 18. A trial date has been set for November 19.

Sgt. Vonn Schleicher from Oregon State Police expressed appreciation for the help of other law enforcement agencies that day. He also said the trooper and state police appreciated the community's support in the aftermath of the shooting.

Trooper Ellis is expected to return to normal duty.

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