Trooper Shot 12 Times Sues For $30 Million
Portland, OR – An Oregon State Police trooper who was shot 12 times in the line of duty has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the Washington County 911 Center.
In the federal lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, Oregon State Police Trooper Nic Cederberg said that 911 dispatchers failed to provide him with “critical information” they had regarding the suspect, James Tylka, when they put out an “attempt to locate” on him on Dec. 25, 2016, KOIN reported.
The Washington County 911 Center completely omitted “critical information that Mr. Tylka had just killed his wife and was armed and suicidal,” the lawsuit said.
Trooper Cederberg learned that police were looking for Tylka at approximately 10:40 a.m. on Christmas Day.
Roughly nine minutes later, he spotted Tylka’s white Mitsubishi, and notified dispatchers that he was in pursuit.
Trooper Cederberg said that if dispatchers had made him aware that Tylka was a suicidal homicide suspect, he would not have followed him alone “down Gimm Lane, a narrow, dark and relatively isolated rural dead-end road,” according to the lawsuit.
Tylka ultimately slammed his Mitsubishi into Trooper Cederberg’s patrol vehicle, while simultaneously opening fire on him.
Trooper Cederberg was hit 12 times during the attack.
“It appears that Tylka fired the last few rounds while standing directly over Trooper Cederberg,” The Washington County District Attorney noted, according to KOIN.
Additional officers arrived at the scene and returned fire, hitting Tylka approximately 20 times.
The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, KVAL reported.
Trooper Cederberg suffered life-threatening injuries during the attack, and remained hospitalized for 48 days.
Although he has undergone 21 surgeries, his recovery is not over, KPTV reported.
At least one bullet remains lodged at the base of his spine, and bullet fragments from six gunshot wounds remain in his left arm, according to KOIN.
In addition to his permanent disabilities, Trooper Cederberg has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Legacy Meridian Park Hospital are also named in the suit.
The series of events that led up to the Christmas Day shooting began on Nov. 29, 2016, when the suspect’s estranged wife, Katelynn Tylka, called 911 to report that her husband was threatening to kill her and her new boyfriend.
Katelynn provided an unnamed Washington County deputy with text and voice messages from Tylka, but the deputy failed to arrest Tylka even though he had probable cause to do so, the lawsuit alleged.
The day after Katelynn reported the death threats, Tylka intentionally overdosed on insulin in a suicide attempt.
He was taken to Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, and an officer asked medical personnel to place him under a mental health hold.
“[The doctor] called the King City Police Department to complain about Mr. Tylka being brought to the emergency room… and stated that the circumstances ‘sounded like a criminal matter,’” the lawsuit said.
The doctor released Tylka from the hospital later that night.
Trooper Cederberg is seeking $18 million for future pain and suffering and $2 million for past and current pain and suffering.
His wife and full-time caregiver, Portland Police Bureau Officer Hayley Shelton, is seeking $10 million in damages.
“Trooper Cederberg acted heroically on the evening of December 25th, 2016,” Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said in a statement to KOIN. “We recognize the sacrifices he made to protect our community that night, and the sacrifices he has made throughout his career.”
“We continue to send our best wishes to Trooper Cederberg and his family. As a matter of standard policy, the Sheriff’s Office cannot comment on pending litigation,” Sheriff Garrett said.
Trooper Cederberg is still works for the Oregon State Police, although his duties have been modified due to the severity and permanence of his injuries.