SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — An Oregon man who attempted suicide less than three weeks ago was fatally shot by police Tuesday morning, the authorities said.
Patrol officers went to the home of Robert Earl Vaughan shortly before sunrise after neighbors reported that he was shooting a rifle in his front yard, Springfield police Lt. Scott McKee said. The 70-year-old man told one neighbor he wanted police to kill him, McKee said.
The man was inside when officers arrived. He closed window coverings and barricaded himself.
“(Officers) could hear pounding noises and what sounded like furniture being moved around,” McKee said.
Police tried to get Vaughan to leave the house, but his responses were either hostile or unintelligible, he said.
McKee said police had a confrontation with Vaughan around 7 a.m., and more than one officer fired. No officers were injured. Police have yet to say if Vaughan fired at them.
Police went to Vaughan’s home on June 30 after he sliced his wrists in a suicide attempt, McKee said. Officers took four loaded firearms for safekeeping during that incident, he added, but Vaughan refused to grant them access to a larger gun safe.
A month earlier, police were called to a steakhouse and sports bar on a report that Vaughan was drunk, down and disoriented near closing time. When officers arrived, Vaughan pulled out a handgun and placed it on the bar. Vaughan, who had a concealed weapons permit, was taken to a hospital for observation, McKee said.
Officers have been to the house other times on gun-related calls. In one instance five years ago, Vaughan shot two neighborhood teenagers in the legs after he was pushed down in a dispute over noise. He claimed self-defense and was not prosecuted.