Marion Co. Dist. Attorney's Office
Emergency Messages as of 12:21 am, Sun. Oct. 21
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
News Release
Keizer Shooting Found Justified By Grand Jury - 10/16/18

Today a Marion County Grand Jury unanimously found that Alex Hackney, 26, was justified in his use of deadly force on Bryan O’Connor, 27, on September 4, 2018. 

The grand jury convened today to hear testimony from 10 witnesses, including detectives from the Keizer Police department and civilians.  They also reviewed photographs, dispatch recordings, scene diagrams, medical records and autopsy reports.  The grand jury was given an opportunity to review all evidence gathered by and provided to the Keizer Police Department.

The following is a factual summary of evidence found by the Grand Jury:

Alex Hackney and Bryan O’Connor were close friends for many years.  They lived next to each other on Cummings Lane N in Keizer, Oregon.  Hackney lived at 401 Cummings Lane N and O’Connor lived at 411 Cummings Lane N.  On the evening of September 3, 2018, Hackney and O’Connor went to several local bars with friends.  The group returned to O’Connor’s home on September 4, 2018, around 12:50am where a verbal argument began between Hackney and O’Connor. 

The argument turned physical and O’Connor hit Hackney multiple times in the face and head, causing a large laceration above Hackney’s eye.  O’Connor put Hackney in a choke hold causing Hackney to become dizzy and fear that he may lose consciousness rendering him unable to defend himself.  Hackney was able to break free from O’Connor’s choke hold and run to Hackney’s home at 401 Cummings Lane N around 1:03am.  O’Connor continued to yell threats at Hackney as he retreated home.  Friends, including O’Connor’s live in girlfriend, were present during the physical altercation.

Upon returning to his home, Hackney locked all of his doors, armed himself with a .380 handgun, and began to clean his bleeding face.  Hackney has a valid concealed weapons permit.  Hackney’s live-in girlfriend was with him and received a text message from O’Connor’s girlfriend at 1:06am warning that O’Connor was on his way over and stated “hope your doors are locked”.  Simultaneously, O’Connor began to kick Hackney’s back door open, broke in, and came after Hackney.  Hackney fired one shot at the approaching O’Connor.  O’Connor turned and ran back to his house.  Hackney immediately called 911 at 1:07am to report that he just shot at his neighbor who had broke in to his home.

O’Connor was taken to the Salem Hospital Emergency Room by his friends, where he was later pronounced deceased after life saving measures were attempted.

Officers and detectives from the Keizer Police Department, Salem Police Department, and Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to the properties on Cummings Lane and the Salem Hospital Emergency Room.  Hackney was compliant and cooperative throughout the investigation.  Hackney at no time exhibited signs of being under the influence of intoxicants or controlled substances.  Hackney voluntarily provided a blood alcohol breath sample which revealed a blood alcohol content of .00%. 

A search of Hackney’s home revealed that his back door was kicked in, damaging the frame and deadbolt lock.  Hackney’s .380 handgun was located on the dining room table, where Hackney placed it at the direction of the 911 operator before officers arrived.  A single bullet casing was found in the laundry room. 

An autopsy performed by Dr. Rebecca Millius at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office on September 4, 2018, found that O’Connor died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. O’Connor had injuries to and debris in the bottom of his foot, consistent with kicking a wood door.  O’Connor’s toxicology reports were positive for cocaine and THC.  O’Connor’s medical blood draw revealed his blood alcohol plasma was .23%.

Pursuant to Oregon law, in order to be justified in his use of deadly force, Alex Hackney had to reasonably believe that:

(1) Bryan O’Connor was committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or

(2) Bryan O’Connor was committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or

(3) Bryan O’Connor was using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against Alex Hackney or another person.

The Grand Jury's decision required a review of all the facts and evidence available and applying it to the legal principles above. The Marion County Grand Jury concluded that the actions of Alex Hackney were lawful and justified.