With Christmas around the corner, we’re naturally in a hat-tipping kind of mood.
So we say thanks to everyone in Eastern Oregon who contributed to our opinion pages all year long, and debated civilly and respectfully both online and in print. You made your community a better place. And we wish you all a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and a happy New Year.
A tip of the hat to the pheasant hunters in rural Morrow County who helped nabbed two robbery suspects.
Phil Carlson, who owns TREO Ranches outside Heppner, was conducting the hunt when a couple who were accused of stealing a car from a neighbor, firing a gun at a pursuer and breaking into a shed — then crashed their vehicle and tried to set fire to it nearby.
Luckily, that’s where the hunters jumped to action — pointing their shotguns at the suspects and holding them there until law enforcement arrived. It doesn’t get more Eastern Oregon than that.
We tip our hat to the hunting crew for being at the ready, and stopping what could have been an even longer crime spree.
We also tip our hat to Pendleton police, who cut short a crime spree of their own back in November.
Pendleton Sgt. Tyler Reddington shot a theft suspect (who was carrying a bb gun that looked almost identical to a handgun) as the man ran from Walmart toward the busy intersection of Southwest 20th Street and Court Avenue.
After dark and in the midst of an adrenaline-pumping foot chase, its no wonder that two officers at the scene thought the fleeing suspect was armed while he reached down into his waistband.
On Tuesday, Baker County District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff confirmed those findings and said officers were justified to fire at the suspect.
It is critical that police shootings are limited to only when necessary. But its just as important that when those shootings take place, that they are independently investigated and the results of the investigation be made public as quickly as possible. That’s what happened here, and we tip our hat.