Police: Suspect admits firing fatal shot

Police: Suspect admits firing fatal shot »Play Video
Officer Chris Kilcullen

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The woman accused of shooting and killing a Eugene police officer told police she fired the gun, according to court documents.

Cheryl Kidd, 56, told police she fired the shot that killed Officer Chris Kilcullen as he attempted to pull her over after a chase from Eugene into Springfield, police there confirmed to KVAL News.

A memorial for Kilcullen, 43, is planned for Friday at 2 p.m. at the Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon campus.

Witnesses said the lone occupant of Kidd's car shot Officer Chris Kilcullen from the driver's window as he pulled up next to the car, Detective Don Myers wrote in a sworn statement.

Myers said police pursued Kidd 35 miles to a dead-end logging road. After she surrendered and had been read her rights, he wrote, she admitted shooting the police officer.

Kidd, 56, of Springfield, did not enter a plea at her arraignment hearing on Monday. The state appointed a lawyer with death penalty case experience to represent her.

District Attorney Alex Gardner said it was too soon to say whether his office would seek the death penalty in Kilcullen's shooting. Gardner told KVAL News his office will ask a grand jury to determine whether the facts support an aggravated murder count.

Defense lawyer Gordon Mallon, of Silverton, confirmed he has been assigned as Kidd's lawyer but said he had not talked to her yet. A public defender represented her Monday.

Mallon told The Oregonian he would order a psychological evaluation to determine whether Kidd is competent to stand trial.

Police say Kilcullen was trying to stop a driver who ran a red light, but the driver fled. Kilcullen caught up to the driver in nearby Springfield, where he was fatally shot.

Police say Kidd surrendered to other officers after a 35-mile car chase that ended on back roads southeast of the Eugene-Springfield area.

Springfield police recovered a .38-caliber revolver from her car, Chief Jerry Smith told KVAL News on Monday.

Kilcullen, 43, was a 12-year Eugene department veteran. He's the first Eugene officer killed in the line of duty since 1934.

A brother of Kidd's, Allan Kidd of Cottage Grove, told The Oregonian his sister suffers from schizophrenia.

A woman at Kidd's arraignment Monday told KVAL News she had known Kidd for 10 years through a support group for adults with developmental disabilities.

Springfield police were called to the woman's apartment last week after receiving a complaint that she was making too much noise playing an electric guitar in her doorway at about 10 p.m.

The Oregonian says police also visited her apartment in March after Kidd called to say that someone had taken five boxes of devil's food cake from her home while she was out shopping.

Retiree Stephen Gibson lives four apartments away from Kidd.

"She was a nice lady," he told The Oregonian. "But when she was trying to talk to me, she was not coherent. Nothing made sense."


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press