COLTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) —The hatchet-wielding man shot and killed by Clackamas County deputies was the same man who called 911 to report he had been stabbed and a suspect had a gun.
Bruce Lee Steward called 911 around 10:30 a.m. Sunday to report he’d been stabbed and was facing a gunman, then hung up the phone, Clackamas County authorities said in a release Monday morning. Officials said the 911 call was made from Steward’s cell phone.
When deputies arrived at the home in the 29000 block of S. Wall Street, they were met by a man armed with a hatchet, later identified as Steward. Despite commands to stop, the man kept advancing toward the deputies.
Multiple deputies fired their weapon at Steward, who died at the scene. He was 34.
It is unclear at this time how many deputies fired, how many rounds were shot and how many hit the man.
No stabbing victim was found by investigators, authorities said.
The names of the deputies involved have not been released. They are now on paid administrative leave, standard practice in these situations.
Different agencies from Clackamas County continue to investigate.
The news spread quickly in the small town of Colton.
Thomas Allen lives nearby and was home during the shooting.
“I was just in the backyard, cutting a tree that was going over our neighbor’s fence and heard about 20 or so gunshots,” Allen said. He added it’s not unusual to hear gunshots in the area from target shooting and he didn’t pay any attention until he saw the police cars and KOIN 6 News.
“When you hear that something like this happens in your town and you don’t know what happened, just that fear of the unknown and whether or not you know them or who they were,” said resident Terri Bell. “I just feel for the family or whoever’s involved or people that are just waiting and waiting.”
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.