Police: 'Claim of self-defense' in fatal shooting after car crash

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Police found a man dead from a gunshot wound at the scene of a car crash Wednesday night.

Police identified the deceased as David Paul Crofut, 53, of Springfield.

No arrests have been made as of Thursday morning. Police identified the case as a "death investigation."

"It remains open and uncharged at this point because there's been a claim of self-defense," Sgt. David Lewis said.

The Springfield Police Department asks anyone with information about this incident to call (541) 726-3714.

The incident concerned neighbors.

"We saw the police lights coming through the window," said Darlene Harper, who lives nearby. "Probably an hour or two later my husband was getting ready for bed, and he says 'Are the lights still on out there?' So we walked outside. The road was closed, and there was tape everywhere.They were still collecting evidence - shell casings. I thought it was an accident,like some kind of spill maybe?

"If there was a shooting and everything is closed and they're collecting shell casings, did those bullets maybe go into a house? That's cause for concern."

Officers responded to the scene of the crash at South 57th Street and Bob Straub Parkway just before 8 p.m.

They found Crofut's body in the street, a short distance from the two vehicles involved in the crash.

Officers located and seized a firearm.

According to police, the crash involved a new, unlicensed GMC Denali driven by Gerald Roy Strebendt, 34, of Springfield and 2013 Nissan Rogue driven by Crofut.

Police said the shooting took place a short distance from the crash scene after the accident.

Lewis said the "preliminary indication" is Strebendt was the shooter.

Police still need to review data and interview people to complete their investigation, Lewis said.

The district attorney is involved in the investigation. Any decision on whether or not to pursue criminal charges once the investigation is complete will be determined by prosecutors.

Strebendt is a former professional mixed martial arts fighter who trains athletes at a Springfield gym.

Earlier story

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A man was shot and killed Wednesday night during an argument over a car crash on Bob Straub Parkway, Springfield Police said.

Officials said the incident started at around 8 p.m. with a relatively minor car crash on Highway 126 at East Main.'

Both drivers got out of their cars and got into an argument. One driver then pulled out a gun and shot the other driver; who later died.

Police said the shooter is in custody.

The victim had a female passenger at the time of the crash. Police are continuing their investigation.