Former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea

Former Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea

Courtesy of the Portland Police Bureau

A bullet from his .22 rifle ended the career of former Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea, wounded a friend, and put him on the wrong side of a criminal prosecution.

Now, in his defense, he appears likely to turn to his weapon — and fault its allegedly defective design for the incident that led to his sudden downfall earlier this year, the Portland Tribune has learned.

In May, word leaked to reporters that O’Dea had been involved in an accidental shooting while on a camping trip in Harney County on April 21. A group of friends had been sitting in lawn chairs shooting at sage rats when Robert Dempsey was wounded, they told a Harney County Sheriff’s deputy who responded to the scene.

O’Dea told the investigator it appeared Dempsey had shot himself while holstering a pistol. But O’Dea later told Dempsey the bullet came from his gun.

Read more at The Portland Tribune.