Man who claimed self-defense in fatal shooting charged with murder

Man who claimed self-defense in fatal shooting charged with murder »Play Video
The scene of the crash and fatal shooting January 29, 2014.

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A former professional mixed martial arts fighter who shot and killed a man after a minor traffic crash in January was arrested Thursday evening on a murder charge.

Gerald Roy Strebendt, 34, claimed self-defense in the shooting death of David Paul Crofut, 53, after a minor traffic accident at South 57th and Bob Straub Parkway in Springfield on Wednesday, January 29.

The grand jury reviewed the evidence and issued a warrant for Strebendt's arrest.

Police took him into custody March 6 shortly after 6 p.m.

Bartender Kathy Ulman remembers serving Crofut and his wife the day of the shooting.

"Everything seemed find and dandy," she said.

Ulman said the couple was celebrating a recent move to Oregon and had just sold their Tacoma, Wash., home.

She said the couple left the Driftwood Bar and Grill in good spirits.

"It doesn't make sense to me," she said of the shooting.

According to police, Strebendt was on the phone with 911 reporting the accident when he shot and killed Crofut.

"He made the only decision that a reasonable person would make in that situation," attorney Mike Arnold said in the wake of the shooting.

Police recently turned their investigation over to the grand jury, which returned an indictment on a charge of murder.

This is a developing story. Watch #LiveOnKMTR for more