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Dramatic shootout with officer seen on video leaving man dead in front of his children

By Mason White 5:39 AM October 6, 2013
John Van Allen 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) A father died from a gunshot wound while driving with three children in his car.

Police released a dramatic dash camera video of a Oregon State Police trooper. The video shows the moment a man in an army uniform pulling a gun and shooting the officer, who then fatally shot the suspect.

John Van Allen, 34, was driving his three children, a girl of 10-years-old and two boys, ages 13 and 15, when Trooper Matthew Zistel, 26, stopped him for speeding.

Allen, a former U.S. army soldier, got out of his vehicle and refused to listen to the officers, who ordered him to get back into his car.

Suddenly, Allen pulled a gun and began to fire several shots at the officer, hitting him in the left side. Allen continued to shoot as he sprinted toward the wounded officer.

A few shots were heard. Apparently, the officer shot back at Allen until Allen walked to the front of the officer’s car. Then, Allen went back into his car and drove off.

Police officers then went to look for the suspect and found him about a half a mile down the road hunched behind the wheel and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Unfortunately for Allen and his family, he was found dead with his children in the car.
Zistel, a five-year veteran officer, was treated for his injuries at a hospital, where he was expected to recover.

A friend said that Allen, who is a father of five children, moved to Portland, Oregon, a year ago from his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The female friend said that Allen was trying to change his life after a bad marriage, and some arrests for driving offenses and fighting.

Before this incident, things seemed to be going well for Allen. “He said the children were fine and he had gotten a new car, a new house and a new girlfriend, and everything was working for him,” the friend said.

She was also surprised to learn that three of his children were inside the car during the shooting. “I cannot see him endangering these children. He has packed up and moved to get away from a bad neighborhood,” she added.

A relative said that Allen was taking his children back to his native South Carolina. No one could imagine why he decided to open fire on the police.