Dispatch recordings show deputies response to quadruple homicide near Canby

Crime scene tape cordons off the home where Clackamas County deputies say a man killed four people, including his 9-month-old daughter. (KATU Photo)

Clackamas County sheriff's deputies have been praised for their response to a quadruple homicide where they used deadly force to save an 8-year-old girl.

On Saturday, deputies responded to a domestic violence call at a S. Barlow Road. Four people were killed, including a baby.

A roommate was able to escape unharmed.

Investigators said deputies found Mark Gago attempting to kill the young girl. Deputies killed Gago.

Recordings between dispatchers and deputies show what led up to deputies killing him.

The initial call to 911 came from someone inside the home.

"Someone threw a knife," the dispatcher told deputies who were responding to the home.

Shortly afterward, a medical unit was said to be en route.

It took deputies about 20 minutes to get to the home, according to what's said by deputies. When they arrived, they attempted to call Mark Gago, but the call went to voicemail.

Deputies then attempted to surround the home and requested a shield.

New deputies to the scene were told to stop using their sirens and pull up to the home without lights.

About an hour into the call, deputies reported that shots were fired.

Former police chief and Portland State University adjunct professor of criminal justice Ron Louie said deputies did everything right.

"Police (officers and deputies) go to domestic (calls) all the time. We always approach by listening to clues to what’s happened. A broken window. Someone screaming." he said.

Deputies were getting a report of injuries and blood in the home over the radio, but Louie said at the scene and inside the home, it appeared to have been quiet.

By going into the home, a person could have been taken hostage by the suspect, Louie said.

"Are we going to enter forcibly? Which means we may be impacting everyone we see inside with deadly force," he said.

Louie said deputies were making split-second decisions.

Investigators said deputies discovered a body outside the home.

Louie said at that point deputies had no other choice but to go inside.

"This is not a de-escalation situation. They’re now dealing with deadly force or deadly force as they see it. That means they actually have to make an entry," he said.

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