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"Allen was then found about a half mile down the road slumped over in his vehicle. Troopers tried to revive him but he was pronounced dead at the scene"
Other troopers found Van Allen dead in his car on the shoulder of the freeway. His three children were in the car. They were not injured. According to a source familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to speak on the record, the children are now in the custody of their mother in Pennsylvania.
According to the source, Van Allen and the children were in the process of moving to South Carolina, a decision that appeared to have been made not long before the shooting.
Van Allen's motive for shooting the trooper remains unclear. His cousin, Kasmira Hamlet, told KATU News the day after the shooting that she had no idea what led to the shootout or why her cousin would have shot the trooper.
Van Allen’s friends said he was a pastor. He also served in the military.
The Catera, which contained Allen’s 3 children--a 10-year-old girl and two boys, ages 13 and 15--traveled approximately a half mile before coming to a stop on the shoulder. Allen was dead, but the children were unharmed.
According to US Army records, Van Allen served in the army reserve from October 2009 through July 2012. Although his family roots were in South Carolina, he went to school in Pittsburg. Relatives said he and the 3 children were on their way back to South Carolina when they were stopped by Zistel.
Court records show an extensive arrest record in the Pittsburgh area, mostly for traffic offenses, including speeding, running a red light and driving with a suspended license. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in March 2011 after getting into a fight. He and his ex-wife, Amie Allen, lost their home in Pittsburgh to foreclosure in 2009, according to court documents.
WHY DID IT HAPPEN?
When the State Police later released the video of the shooting, bloggers and commentators wondered what provoked Allen. Police and military records from Oregon and South Carolina reveal a darker portrait of Allen, in some instances at odds with family accounts.
Army Reserve records show that in July 2012, Allen was demoted from private first class to private and given an other-than-honorable discharge, the most severe administrative discharge. Reserve officials said he was discharged after he missed duty for a year — the Reserve equivalent of going AWOL. Trouble dogged Allen to South Carolina.
In early 2012, he was arrested after disrupting operations at a Greenville school. He was charged with “disturbing a school.”
Police files suggest mental health issues may have been at the root of it all. His ex-wife told police she divorced Allen because he was paranoid. She said he thought the FBI was following him. One of his children advised detectives that Allen had gone to a mental health clinic in South Carolina, seeking treatment for stress.
According to a State Police report, his aunt and uncle told detectives their nephew “thought he was being watched by the military. He gets argumentative. He is paranoid.” www.oregonlive.com...