August 29, 2013 is a day that three children will never forget. On that day they saw their father die. John Van Allen had decided to drive from Oregon to South Carolina where much of his family is from, according to his aunt Deborah Morton Hamlet.
The whole event was captured on the dashboard video cam of Oregon State Trooper Matthew Zistel, 26, who pulled Van Allen over for speeding. He was going over 75 mph in a construction zone. Van Allen got out of his Cadillac Catera, leaving his daughter age 10 and two sons, aged 13 and 15 in the back seat of the car. He walked toward the officer and with a gun in his hand assumed a firing stance. Shots were then exchanged, Van Allen ran to his car and drove away. But about half a mile down the road the car was found stopped with the kids in the back, unharmed, and Van Allen dead from a gun wound to the chest. Zistel was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound and was released.
One of Van Allen’s former friends was shocked and said she couldn’t believe it was him. His children have been placed in state custody. No one knows why he chose to open fire on the officer and I doubt anyone ever will.
The Sherman County district attorney ruled in September that the shooting was justified. District attorney McLeod stated that Trooper Zistel was justified in believing that his life was in danger and that he acted in self defense. No case will be brought before the Grand Jury.
Watch the video below, and tell us what you think.