The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office released more information this morning about last week's bizarre standoff between authorities and a 69-year-old La Pine man that occurred last week.
Today's report told more about how an altercation between Curtis Jack Berger and his 73-year-old neighbor on April 18 eventually resulted in a deputy shooting at Berger and ultimately injuring him before he disappeared into the house for seven hours. Authorities eventually coaxed him to peacefully surrender by tossing a "chemical agent" into Berger's home. He was then treated for his injury at St. Charles Medical Center.
What's most interesting about the standoff is that while Berger was indeed armed with a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and also had another shotgun and a rifle in his home, it’s believed that he used a slingshot to fire at authorities and a locksmith who’d come to assist deputies. Deputies say that the sound of the slingshot-fired projectiles hitting the locksmith’s van and a building led them to believe that they’d been fired upon, which is why one of the deputies opened fire.
Authorities do maintain, however, that Berger had a loaded shotgun in his possession when they spotted him, but he used the slingshot – described as a “wrist rocket” – to fire in the direction of the deputies. An investigation determined that the deputy’s return fire was justified.
Berger remains hospitalized and has yet to be arraigned.