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"Officer Down"

Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement

Section Three: Selected Incidents of Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty by Assault Weapons, 1998 Through 2001

Date: January 27, 1998

Location: Portland, Oregon

Assault Weapon: Norinco SKS 7.62mm rifle

On January 27, 1998, one police officer was killed and two were wounded with a Norinco SKS 7.62mm rifle. The officers, working on a drug investigation in Portland, entered the home of Steven Douglas Dons and were met with gunfire. Colleen Waibel, a six-year veteran, was hit with multiple gunshots, becoming the first female officer killed in the line of duty in Portland. Kim Keist, a 15-year veteran, was wounded in the chest and arm despite wearing a bullet-proof vest. A third officer was treated for a gunshot wound to the hand. A neighbor reported that Dons was known to have a large arsenal of weapons and that police had been called to the house weeks before on a complaint of weapons being fired. Dons committed suicide while awaiting trial.

Lauren Dodge, "Three Portland Officers Ambushed at House; One Dead, Two Wounded," Associated Press, January 28, 1998; "Victim, Husband Have Mixed Feelings Over Apparent Suicide of Suspect," The Columbian, February 26, 1998.


Each weapon shown is representative of the brand or model of assault weapon and is not a picture of the specific weapon used in the shooting described in the narrative.

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  All contents � 2003 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.