04/23/2011

Ore. officer fatally shot during pursuit

Cheryl D. Kidd, 57, charged with murder in shooting death of 43-year-old Officer Chris Kilcullen

Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. — A woman has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Eugene traffic enforcement officer, whose body was found slumped against a tire of a tractor-trailer rig in rush hour traffic.

The death Friday of Chris Kilcullen, 43, is the first of a Eugene Police Department officer in the line of duty since 1934.

Cheryl D. Kidd, 57, of Springfield, has been charged with aggravated murder, and remained in the Lane County Jail on Saturday without bond. A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

The shooting occurred at about 4:30 p.m. when Kilcullen, a 12-year veteran, tried to stop the driver of a Buick Skylark. The driver fled, and Kilcullen pursued the sedan into nearby Springfield. When cornered at a traffic light, the driver fired at least one shot from a handgun that struck Kilcullen, officials said. Police say he did not return fire.

Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith said his department has issued affidavits for search warrants for Kidd's Springfield apartment and her car.

"We're contacting neighbors, associates, trying to learn a little more about her," Smith said.

He said his department hadn't yet found any relatives of Kidd in the area. Smith said Kilcullen, a father of two, was "certainly well liked" in his department.

Kidd was cornered after the shooting at a dead-end Forest Service road near Lowell at about 7:30 p.m. She surrendered without incident, Smith said.

Police Chief Pete Kerns said that the "department is grieving, along with his family," according to the Eugene Register-Guard.

"This is a moment of pure sorrow," Eugene Police Employees' Association President Erik Humphrey said in a statement. "Our devoted prayers are with this fine officer's family. This void in law enforcement will remain forever."

 

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