From The Oregonian
As of Tuesday, west Washington County is still wondering why - why did a young Hillsboro man with no previous criminal record suddenly snap Saturday after a seemingly minor traffic accident, fatally shoot a seemingly uninvolved stranger then die exchanging bullets with police?
One possibility is drugs, said Dr. Karen Gunson, the Oregon Medical Examiner. Gunson says it's clear 28-year-old Shane Schumacher of Hillsboro died from the police bullets in his head and chest. But it could be weeks before it's known if the hallucinogenic drug mescaline
had anything to do with the bizarre circumstances that ended in death for Schumacher and 55-year-old Danny K. Le Gore, also of Hillsboro.
While it's easy to screen for mescaline's presence, it takes a specialty lab to determine if there is enough of the drug present to say someone is under its influence.
"If there's mescaline there, we can screen for it, we can test for it, but we can't quantify it," Gunson said. She anticipates sending the toxicology reports to national forensics authority NMS Labs
in Willow Grove, Pa. Definitive results should be available in two to four weeks, she said.
The mescaline theory was developed after detectives found evidence Schumacher was producing mescaline from the small, spineless cactus commonly called peyote at his residence in the 1000 block of Southeast Nazomi Avenue. Users often suffer sensation and perception impairment, loss of a sense of time, disorganization of thought and psychotic reactions, according to police drug recognition experts
Investigators believe Schumacher got out of his westbound 1997 Honda Civic at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, after being rear-ended at the intersection of 10th and Oak streets. Barefoot and wearing only ragged khaki pants, Schumacher walked toward an unrelated southbound vehicle and fired at least 12 rounds from two guns into the driver's side.
Miraculously, none of the bullets struck the driver, but one bullet hit the driver's uncle, 55-year-old Danny K. Le Gore, of Hillsboro, who was sitting in the passenger's seat. Le Gore was Life-flighted to Oregon Health Science University, where he later died.
Police say Schumacher fired an unknown number of rounds as he sped into the city, where officers scrambled to set up spike strips. But Schumacher eliminated the need to disable his vehicle when he crashed into a parked Ford van at 13th Avenue and Adair Street, in Cornelius.
Two Cornelius officers and a WCSO deputy approached, where Schumacher was reportedly slumped over the wheel.
According to police, Schumacher emerged with a handgun in each hand and started shooting, putting one bullet in a patrol car. The officers returned fire, killing Schumacher. No bullets struck officers.
After eliminating road rage as a cause, investigators are now hanging their collective hats on Schumacher being in a "drug-induced state," he said.
"But in the end I think we have to be comfortable with the fact we're never going to know 100 percent," Rouches said. "We just can't because he's gone. It doesn't make it easier (on either of the families), but we'll conclude it as well as we can. It's a sad thing for everyone involved."