At about 9:20 p.m. on February 5, in downtown Seaside, two uniformed Seaside Police officers spotted wanted, 17-time felon Phillip Ferry. Both officers were familiar with Ferry and a check revealed an active felony warrant.
As officers tried to detain and arrest him, Ferry shot 39-year-old Seaside Police Sergeant Jason Goodding with a single shot from a semi-automatic pistol resulting in Sgt. Goodding’s almost immediate death.
The other officer, Seaside Officer David Davidson, who has been on the Seaside force since late 2012, had at first attempted to use a Taser on Ferry.
After Ferry shot Sgt. Goodding, Officer Davidson fired several rounds from his service weapon striking Ferry three times.
Both Sgt. Goodding and Ferry were transferred to area hospitals, where both were declared dead.
Under protocols established by Oregon Senate Bill 111 each county has a specific set of rules by which police shootings are investigated.
In Clatsop County those protocols call for the District Attorney to name another agency, which in this case was the Oregon State Police, to head the investigation, with participation from other officers of the County’s Major Crime Team – drawn from the other agencies. The agency involved in the shooting contributes a single liaison officer, but does not participate in the SB 111 review. The reason for this is so that there is as much of detached investigation as is possible.
These protocols do not in any way reflect on the ability of the Seaside or any other police department, but are designed to increase public confidence in the ultimate determination regarding the use of police deadly force.
Starting on a 24-hour a day basis the weekend Sgt. Goodding was killed, investigators of the Oregon State Police, many from outside this area, have worked gathering evidence, attending the autopsies, viewing bodycams worn by the officers, and looking into other evidence relevant to the shooting. OSP investigators also interviewed a fourth person who was present and is not likely to be charged.
The purpose of the investigation deals primarily with the shooting of Ferry.
The murder of Jason Goodding was not the primary focus because the legal issue is whether the surviving officer was justified in using deadly force.
Members of the Major Crime Team to announced that review of the evidence shows that Officer Davidson was legally and morally justified in using deadly force against Ferry. There will be no Grand Jury inquiry. Eventually, the full investigation and reports will be provided to the City of Seaside and much of that will become public record. Similarly, once the OSP investigation is over the 911 calls and some of the bodycam footage may become subject to public disclosure, but not this week.
A related investigation, aided by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, is ongoing into where Ferry, a many-time convicted felon ineligible under existing state and federal laws from possessing a gun, got the firearm with which he killed Sgt. Goodding.