DA Calls Eugene Officer Heroic in Extraordinary Shooting Case

Dec 20, 2013

Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner says a Eugene Police officer acted appropriately when he fatally shot a suspect on the campus of Churchill High School last month.

The shooting took place on Churchill High School grounds. This photo was taken on Bailey Hill Road a few hours later.
Credit Rachael McDonald

EPD School Resource Officer Aaron Johns pulled over 44- year old Christopher Koziatek  who was driving an illegal mini-bike on Bailey Hill Road November 20th. Johns took a hatchet and knife from the suspect. Then Koziatek ran onto school grounds. A struggle ensued and Koziatek drew a concealed gun. Officer Johns finally shot him. The suspect was declared dead at the scene. Gardner says it was an extraordinary case.

Gardner: "I've worked quite a few of these shootings and I can't ever remember a situation like this where there was a protracted struggle, where both the suspect and the officer were trying to gain position in order to fire. You know they were both staring death right in the eye."

Gardner says the officer was able to radio for help and have the school placed on lockdown. Johns is expected to return to his post as school resource officer in the New Year. Gardner says Koziatek had a criminal record and was wanted on a warrant in Washington County. Several witnesses were at the scene that Wednesday afternoon.