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Monday, February 15, 2010

[OR] Charlotte murdered for trying to leave Sgt. Grahn, her friend Kathleen Hoffmeister murdered for supporting her, and friend Vickie Schulmerich - in critical condition

Whisper prayers.
Hopefully there will be things for us to learn from these stolen and crushed lives,
but now is not the time.

...[Clackamas County Sheriff's Sergeant Jeffrey] Grahn shot and killed his wife, Charlotte, and her friend Kathleen Hoffmeister. He also severely injured Victoria Schulmerich, who is being treated at OHSU Hospital, before killing himself... ...[Walter] Trapp said his sister, Charlotte, was frightened of her husband but afraid to report him to police, both for fear of how he would react and because she didn't want him to lose his job... "She's probably the most caring, beautiful person I've ever met," her friend Sheila Meyer said. "She was determined to live happy, live life to its fullest, to have a positive impact on her friends"... The Grahns filed for divorce last year but, according to [Grahn's uncle, Bob] Yungeberg, removed it from the court system. "They had their problems, and we thought [the problems] had pretty much gone away because they had stopped the divorce proceedings"...


NEWS EXCERPTS FROM TODAY:

CHARLOTTE GRAHN EXPRESSED FEAR BEFORE MURDER-SUICIDE, RELATIVE SAYS

The Oregonian
By Rick Bella
February 15, 2010, 8:37PM
[Excerpts] Six days before Clackamas County sheriff's Sgt. Jeffrey A. Grahn went on a shooting rampage that left three dead, he barged in uninvited at his in-laws' 60th wedding anniversary party. "He came right up to me, within inches of my face and he said, 'I understand you have issues with me,'" said brother-in-law Walter Trapp. "He wanted to talk to me, and I said no." Trapp said his sister, Charlotte, was frightened of her husband but afraid to report him to police, both for fear of how he would react and because she didn't want him to lose his job... According to Clackamas County records, no domestic violence calls were made from the home, and there were no restraining orders recorded against either of them. "They were seeing a counselor," said Detective Jim Strovink, Clackamas County sheriff's spokesman. "But how was that working out? Well, not very well, as you can see"... not all [Jeffrey Grahn's] colleagues had a high opinion of Grahn. A former co-worker, Lancer L. Meharry, told The Oregonian that Grahn was a control freak who had little patience for advice from more experienced deputies. Meharry of Canby, a retired sheriff's deputy, said Grahn "ruthlessly" rode senior deputies until they quit or retired. "How, you might ask, do I know and speak of these things?" Meharry said. "Well, after 35 years as a Clackamas County deputy sheriff, my last sergeant was Jeff Grahn. I bore the brunt of his ruthless behavior"... [Full article here]

Victoria Schulmerich

NEW DETAILS REVEALED IN GRESHAM MURDER-SUICIDE
KPTV
February 15, 2010
[Excerpts] New information from police revealed an off-duty deputy fired his gun both inside and outside a Gresham restaurant in a murder-suicide that left three people dead and one woman injured... Police said the motive behind the shooting was domestic violence. Grahn did not use his service gun to kill the women, detectives said. Three days after the shooting, flowers and notes remained on the sidewalk on Main Street on Monday as a sign of remembrance for the victims... Police said surveillance video from the night of the shooting will not be released. [Full article here]

Kathleen Hoffmeister

NEWS EXCERPTS FROM THE 14TH:

FAMILIES, FRIENDS OF THREE WOMEN SHOT BY OFF-DUTY OFFICER WONDER HOW HE COULD DO SOMETHING SO AWFUL

The Oregonian
By Brad Schmidt
February 14, 2010, 9:35PM
[Excerpts] ...[Clackamas County Sheriff's Sergeant Jeffrey] Grahn shot and killed his wife, Charlotte, and her friend Kathleen Hoffmeister. He also severely injured Victoria Schulmerich, who is being treated at OHSU Hospital, before killing himself... Charlotte Grahn worked hard at her marriage for years but recently had decided to make herself happy, her friend Sheila Meyer said. Jeffrey Grahn, 46, changed his mind about the divorce and tried to win his wife back, but it was too late... Charlotte Grahn worked as a personal banker at Chase... "She's probably the most caring, beautiful person I've ever met... She was determined to live happy, live life to its fullest, (to) have a positive impact on her friends." Walter Trapp described his sister -- the youngest of six siblings -- as a caring soccer mom who lived for her children. "She was too kind to a fault," he said... Kathleen "Katie" Hoffmeister, 53, raised two children with her husband, Jay. The family enjoyed tailgating at Oregon State football games and took annual trips to Honeyman State Park near Florence. She worked at Northwest Crane Service in Portland. "He killed my friend, and she didn't do anything. Today I placed a rosary on her and touched her hair. And I'll never see her again because of him," said Patrick Keep, owner of the Northwest Crane Service. Hoffmeister grew up in Mount Vernon, Wash., and became an integral part of her husband's boisterous family. She was fun to be around, but also serious and giving, said Mark Hoffmeister, her brother-in-law... Victoria "Vickie" Schulmerich, 53, remains at OHSU Hospital in a coma, according to her family. She and her husband, Scott, married in 1979 and have three children. She works as a teacher's assistant with the Multnomah Education Service District. Connie Schulmerich described her sister-in-law as a "wonderful, strong, loving person." Connie Schulmerich said she is concerned that Jeffrey Grahn has been portrayed as an otherwise good guy... "He hunted people down," she said. "He assassinated people." Witnesses say Friday's shooting happened after the on-stage band, Marquee, had wrapped up Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe"... Oregonian reporters Lisa Grace Lednice, Tom Hallman and Jeff Manning, and news researcher Lynne Palombo contributed to this report. [Full article here]

Charlotte Grahn


VICTIMS, SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN M&M RESTAURANT
Second victim dies in incident; gunman identified as Clackamas County sheriff's sergea
nt
The Gresham Outlook
Feb 13, 2010
[Excerpts] Gresham police continue to investigate Friday night’s shooting at the M&M Restaurant in downtown Gresham during which a sergeant with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed his wife and another woman and critically wounded another before turning the gun on himself. The shooting, which police say was a domestic dispute, occurred at about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 12 when Jeffrey Grahn, 46, of Boring shot his wife and two women with whom she was socializing inside the restaurant at 137 N. Main Ave. Grahn and Kathleen Hoffmeister, 53, of Gresham both died at the scene. Grahn’s wife, Charlotte Grahn, 47, of Boring died Saturday afternoon at Emanuel Hospital. The third victim, Victoria Schulmerich, 53, of Gresham, was listed in critical condition at Oregon Health & Science University... “Domestic violence is hard to predict,” [Gresham Police Captain Tim] Gerkman said, adding that the two women with Charlotte Grahn were caught “in the middle of a tragedy.”... Also on Saturday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement extending condolences to the families of all the victims. “This heartbreaking event has resulted in multiple victims. Our devoted members of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office wish to express and extend their sincere condolences to all the victim families involved that have received the blazing brunt of this heartbreaking event,” the statement said. Anyone with any information is encouraged to call Gresham police at 503-618-2719. [Full article here]

CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S SERGEANT IN DOMESTIC MURDER-SUICIDE IN GRESHAM
The Portland Tribune,
Feb 13, 2010
[Excerpts] A restaurant shooting in Gresham Friday night has been revealed to be a domestic violence incident involving a veteran Clackamas County Sheriff's Sergeant who lived in Boring... Upon arrival Police found four victims of gunshot wounds... Gresham Police say that all four were acquainted with each other, and brand the incident a case of domestic violence, primarily between the Grahns. Officers are still investigating the circumstances of the tragedy, and do not yet know if the other two victims were intentionally targeted or simply got in the way when gunfire broke out. [Full article here]

FAMILY "DEVASTATED" BY MURDER-SUICIDE
Uncle of shooter says family thought domestic problems were over

The Outlook Online
By Janie Nafsinger
Feb 13, 2010
Updated Feb 14, 2010
[Excerpts] The uncle of Jeffrey Grahn, a Clackamas County Sheriff's deputy who shot himself and three other women in a murder-suicide, says the family is "devastated" by the killing. Contacted Sunday at the Grahn family home in Boring, Grahn's uncle, Bob Yungeberg, said, "The family is just devastated. They're dealing with the funeral home now, and that's a major shock to them."... "This was a typical family," Yungsberg said. "The kids were heavily into sports." The family included three sons and a daughter, some from a previous marriage, with the youngest still in public schools. The Grahns filed for divorce last year but, according to Yungeberg, removed it from the court system. "They had their problems, and we thought [the problems] had pretty much gone away because they had stopped the divorce proceedings," said Yungesberg... [Full article here]

VETERAN COP REVEALED AS GUNMAN IN MURDER/SUICIDE
Salem-News.com
Tim King Salem-News.com
Feb-14-2010 00:46
[Excerpts] ...A blog called glocktalk.com which appears to be frequented by members of law enforcement, has inside information going back and forth over this one. A post from the moderator reads, "Sadly, the comment boards in the local media are blowing up with rants by cop haters. Just a reminder to take care of yourselves and each other both on and off the job." The incident rings of similar tragic stories involving American combat veterans, who often 'snap' for a lack of better terms, and turn violent toward others, and even more often, toward themselves. These cases are generally related to a common condition among seasoned combat vets, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Anyone who doesn't think police and fire and ambulance personnel don't deal with this in huge ways, needs to reconsider their opinion. Nobody will ever know what was going through this man's mind in the last moments of his life, but the incident is proof that police sometimes need more frequent intervention and treatment from mental health professionals, and whether it is emergency services or military, these individuals should always be able to seek help without putting their careers at risk... [Full article here]

BACK ANOTHER DAY, NEWS EXCERPTS FROM THE 13TH:

CLACKAMAS COUNTY SERGEANT SHOOTS 2 WOMEN, HIS WIFE, THEN HIMSELF

The Oregonian
Lisa Grace Lednicer, Allan Brettman
February 13, 2010
[Excerpts] M&M Restaurant and Lounge in Gresham was closed Saturday following Friday night's fatal shooting of three women by a Clackamas County sheriff's sergeant. The Clackamas County sheriff's sergeant who shot and killed himself and his wife Friday night had filed for divorce last August, but neighbors said the couple were still living together and appeared to be on good terms... Dean Phelps and Steve Bates, who live on either side of the Grahns, said the couple often had neighborhood barbecues. "They weren't people who stayed to themselves," Phelps said. "They were good people. And they did a lot of things together as a family." Phelps said he knew the Grahns had filed for divorce and that they had seen a marriage counselor. He said he didn't talk to the couple about that aspect of their life... Charlotte Grahn often stopped by the Phelps home. "We'd have a knock on the back door," he said, "and it'd be Charlotte seeing what we were up to." The couple had planned a trip together to Las Vegas for their daughter's 21st birthday, Phelps said, which they'd done for their eldest son when he turned 21. Phelps said he viewed the trip as an indication the couple would reconcile. "We hoped they'd get through this," he said. [Full article here]

SHERIFF'S SHOOTING RAMPAGE SPARKS DAMAGE CONTROL
KATU News
By Meghan Kalkstein, Adam Ghassemi
Story Published: Feb 13, 2010 at 8:24 PM PST
Story Updated: Feb 13, 2010 at 10:06 PM PST
[Excerpts] ..."The message we want to say is this is a safe downtown," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis... [Full article here]

FOURTH VICTIM OF GRESHAM SHOOTING REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
KGW.com
February 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM
[Excerpts] Victoria Schulmerich, 53, of Gresham, remained in critical condition at OHSU Sunday after she was shot along with three other women in a double-murder suicide by a 15-year veteran of the Clackamas County sheriff's office... Gresham police captain Tim Gerkman said Saturday evening that the shooting should reflect on the safety of day-to-day life in downtown Gresham. Unfortunately, this episode of domestic violence came out of the house into a random location, he said. Downtown businessman Cody Clark described the shooting as devestating and out of character with the "normal reputation" of the city... Numerous witnesses inside the club were put on a Tri-Met bus and taken to the police department for interviews... [Full article here]


EXCERPTS FROM NEWS ARTICLE COMMENTS:

...I know all the families involved. Where Jeff was a bit arrogant he never showed this side of him. He snapped and the reason why we probably will never know. But out of respect for the families, out of respect for those who lost their lives we need to quit speculating like we have the answers...

...I knew Charlotte, and what Jeff did is unbelievable. The police department needs to have a system in place to help prevent these situations from happening. Charlotte was scared for her life for some time and because her husband was a police officer she felt she could not get help or protection. As a result not only did her children lose their parents but another family lost their mother. This could have been prevented! My prayers go out to the families of the tragedy....

...I know Vicki, who is still in critical condition. She is awesome! I think our energy and efforts need to focus on those still fighting for their lives and less on the man responsible! What he was before this shooting really doesn't matter anymore...

...Please contact KATU News at (503) 231-4264 if you would like to speak to us from your perspective. The reporter on this story is hoping to put a voice to what may be Charlotte's side of this heart-wrenching story...

...Jeff grahn was my uncle. He wasn't crazy.. He was kind hearted sweet guy. Yes he has some things in his life going on...

...I care not one little bit if he was a great mentor, super driver, and has done lots of great things in the LE world. He made the decision to become a miltiple murderer and should not be praised in the least for anything he ever did. His final decision trumps everything he did in the past...

...It's very hard on my Grandparents and moth[er], and his kids. Loosing a son, a brother, a mother,a sister, and a father. It's hard on me, Losing an Aunt and an Uncle. I love them dearly, And the support of all of those, means everything to my family...

...Jeff was my first EVOC instructor, and took me under his wing when I was first off of FTEP. At one time, he was a GREAT cop. What happened last night is so far out of character for him, I was disbelieving of the first reports I heard. The Jeff that I know, wasn't in that restaurant last night, I have no idea what happened to him, but he wasn't there. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those poor women, and Jeff's kids. This has to be a nightmare for them.


[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities murder suicide oregon state fear terror tragedy double murder sucide]

7 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to Scott and the children, Vicky has always been full of life and always had a smile that would light up a room. She loved her family dearly and this awful event should never have taken place. My prayers go to her family and to Vicky. You are to good of a wife, mother and friend for this to have ever touched your young life.
    Linda Seiler

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  2. I have known both Jeff & Charlotte for 15 years...Char was a fabulous woman and this is beyond belief. My heart goes out to the families and friends of all the people involved. Regardless of what happened, it is not right for people to be bashing & trashing when they DO NOT KNOW what happened. It is time for the families to be together, to work through this tragedy and try to heal. Not only the families of the women but the family of Jeff also. No one can answer the "why" but they need to focus on the good memories not what people who do not know the circumstances have to say. People who choose to speak mean words are only hurting the survivors - especially the children of the Grahns. Just because he was a cop doesn't make him not human. Please think before you bash & trash - To all the families of the victims, I know this doesn't help much, but you are all in my prayers and in the hearts of the LE community.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have taken great care in these "excerpts" from articles to omit gory details that would harm family and friends who have to read the sad details of the actual murders over and over again around the internet.

    Out of the many many many many many many many MANY negative comments around the internet over the last few days, I included only one above - to represent how this also effects a large number of people in the public.

    Murder of loved ones feels private to the family and friends, but it is a very public act, effecting all of us and how we see AND OPERATE in our world. There is so much to be learned from this tragedy and I think Charlotte, Katie, and Vickie would want us to find and learn as much from this as we can.

    The *ONE* negative comment included above is hopefully a wakeup call to anyone thinking of solving their problems and pain the way that Jeffrey Grahn did.

    ReplyDelete
  4. there were many many complaints about jeffrey grahns behavior to the ccso, along with his wife seeking protection from jeff,i knew the grahns for the past 10 years, have seen the ugly side of jeff, understand what his wife and his family was having to go though, bottom line is the ccso, has failed to do the rite thing over and over and over, still wont release all the facts about jeff, its time they do! and if any good can come from this it would be that all is revealed and that nothing like it happens again! what a shame on the ccso!

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  5. Just a thought. How does one explain someone like Jeff Grahn.
    It’s as simple and yet as complicated as this. What he could not control he tried to destroy. How and why people come to be like this I simply do not understand. I just know that they exist to one degree or another in every walk of life, not just the law enforcement community, and they are among all of us every day of our lives.

    As a Sergeant, Grahn had a reputation for “ruthlessly going after”, senior Deputies and driving them into quitting or bitter retirement. He openly referred to them as “his problems”. I believe he did this because he was intimidated by their years of experience and knowledge far above and beyond his, and he felt that they challenged his authority and were out of his control. In his mind they had to be destroyed.

    They were no different than the women that he ruthlessly murdered in this sense. The two friends of his wife not only stood by her, but may have encouraged her and probably let him know to his face that they were not cowed nor intimidated and that he did not control them. They too were, as we have seen, “gone after ruthlessly” and had to be destroyed.

    And then there was his wife. She was defying his control over her and in fact openly resisting and possibly throwing a beer in his face, after many years of marriage, and maybe for the first time in her life. That may have been the unpardonable sin, in his mind, that triggered the events. She had completely escaped his control and therefore she had to be destroyed.

    Finally there is Jeff Grahn himself. He at some point, after he exited the tavern and looked down at his wife, his rage spent, as her life’s blood flowed out onto the cement and he realized the irony of ironies. He had lost control of himself, and ultimately he realized that he had no choice but to destroy himself. Sadly, we will never know for sure.

    Finally, let me make something abundantly clear. Jeff Grahn was an aberration in law enforcement and is in absolutely no way any kind of reflection on the brave and dedicated Men and Women of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, or any other Police or Law Enforcement Agency. Jeff Grahn has rightfully secured himself a place in posterity as a pariah, an outsider, and a monster.

    How you might ask do I know and speak of these things? Well after thirty five years as a Clackamas County Deputy Sheriff my last Sergeant was Jeff Grahn. I bore the brunt of his ruthless behavior. I was one of “his problems”.

    Finally, to the survivors, and their families and friends who are left behind, my deepest condolences. If for only just a glimpse of your unimaginable grief, I, as do other Deputies, understand.

    Sadly,

    Lancer L. Meharry
    Ret. Deputy Sheriff

    ReplyDelete
  6. Someone told me "Lancer Meharry is a hero who fought the Vietcong from a swiftboat. He's not afraid to tell the truth."

    ReplyDelete

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