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Police: Oregon woman shot by husband, ex-sheriff with dementia

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a 75-year-old Oregon woman was hospitalized after she was shot by her husband, a former sheriff who has dementia.

Officers from The Dalles responded to a home Saturday and found Darlena Hill with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. An Oregon State Police spokesman says Hill had surgery at Mid-Columbia Medical Center and was in serious condition late Saturday afternoon.

Though the investigation isn’t complete, detectives think the gun fired while 76-year-old Darrell Hill was handling a weapon he mistakenly thought was unloaded.

Hill was elected Wasco County sheriff in 1996 and served two terms. Before that, he was The Dalles police chief.

A 2014 article in The Dalles Chronicle said he was diagnosed a year earlier with rapid progressive dementia.

The Wasco County Major Crimes Team is handling the investigation. The Dalles is 85 miles east of Portland.

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2 comments

  • hellomurica

    Yeah I am usually against intervention when it comes to firearms, but people with dementia are no longer capable of thinking clearly. Weapons either need to be locked up, only carried on their person by occupants who do not have dementia. or removed in situations like this.