West Salem, Oregon

From the Salem Statesman-Journal of September 19, 2007

Drunken man shot in thigh while attempting apartment entry

West Salem family feared for safety as he pounded on door

A drunken man received a gunshot wound to the right thigh while trying to force his way into a West Salem apartment late Monday night, Salem police said.

Salem resident Christopher Cruz, 35, was shot through the door of the apartment by a resident worried for the safety of his wife and 4-day-old child, Salem police Sgt. Kevin Halvorsen said.

Police were called to the residence at 11:45 p.m. Monday as Cruz aggressively knocked on the door at Deer Creek Crossing Apartments in the 1500 block of Wallace Road NW, dispatchers said.

Cruz and the people in the apartment did not know each other, Halvorsen said. Cruz refused demands that he leave and continued to work the doorknob to get in.

Neighbors in the apartment complex said they heard loud banging that drew their attention, and others rose from a sound sleep.

“I stepped out on my balcony, thinking someone was beating on the cars in the parking lot,” said Zivile Guevara, who had been working on her computer. “I heard some guy shouting, ‘Why are you banging on my door?’ “

Salem officers arrived on the grounds of the apartment complex at 11:52 p.m., seven minutes after the initial call, according to dispatch logs.

As officers approached the apartment on foot, they heard two loud thumps they later learned were gunshots, Halvorsen said.

The man in the apartment had fired a 9 mm handgun through the door twice, and one shot hit Cruz.

Cruz was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted burglary and a probation violation warrant for an earlier conviction of driving under the influence, Halvorsen said. No charges were filed against the man who shot Cruz.

Cruz was taken to Salem Hospital for treatment. Three and a half hours after the incident, his blood alcohol level was 0.227 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, Halvorsen said.

From Portland’s OregonLive.com of September 20, 2007

West Salem man describes how he gunned down intruder trying to pound down his door.

Yev Gerasimenko lives in a West Salem apartment with his wife and newborn child. On Monday, two men came to his door asking for someone who didn’t live there. He closed the door and one of them returned minutes later and tried to beat the door down.

Gerasimenko told his wife to grab the baby and seek safety in the apartment. The 25-year-old has a concealed weapons permit and a handgun. He loaded it, warned the intruder to away, who ignored him. Gerasimenko then shot him.

The Statesman Journal has the full story, including reader feedback on the use of guns. Here is an excerpt.

Salem police arrested the intruder, Christopher Cruz, 35, late Monday, minutes after Gerasimenko wounded him. It happened at Deer Creek Crossing Apartments, in the 1500 block of Wallace Road NW.

Cruz has been charged with first-degree attempted burglary while at Salem Hospital, police said. Three and a half hours after the incident, his blood alcohol level was 0.227 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, police said.

Gerasimenko came forward Wednesday to tell his story, stung by public criticism that he’d been irresponsible in his gun use while defending his home.

“I want to let people know I was responsible and that a gun in a good responsible citizen’s hand is a blessing,” said Gerasimenko, 25, a journeyman electrician.

Salem police did not file any charges against him, saying he acted in self-protection.



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