PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man with a knife who threatened to have an explosive device was shot and killed by police in the stairwell of the Lovejoy Building in Northwest Portland.
PPB Lt. Tina Jones said the incident began around 10 a.m. at 1331 NW Lovejoy. A report of a disturbance brought officers to the scene where they found a man and a woman in a stairwell in the parking garage. (Full press conference at the bottom of this article)
Police said the man was holding the woman at knife-point.
“Officers attempted to communicate with the male, who was initially reported to have been armed with a knife and was threatening to have an explosive device,” Lt. Jones told media during a briefing 5 hours after the shooting.
Officers used less lethal force but then shot and killed the man. No officers were injured.
Jones said two officers were involved and their names will be released as early as Monday.
No explosive device was found in the area and Jones wouldn’t confirm whether the man had a knife or not.
“There are a lot of questions that we’re looking to get answers for,” Jones said. She didn’t release the man’s identity or say if the suspect and woman knew each other.
Jones said the woman was injured before officers arrived. She was treated at the hospital and has been released.
Shoppers and employees at the Safeway store were evacuated because of the threat of an explosive.
“It’s not surprising, it’s been there’s been a lot of activity around here, but this is just the crescendo,” said Lisa Odell, who lives in the neighborhood. “This is the worst it’s gotten.”
A California man was visiting his son when he saw what happened.
“This wasn’t something good for the parents to see if you know what I mean,” Tom Schmidt said.
Two mobile command centers and numerous other police units rushed to the scene. An officer with the Bomb Squad Unit was seen leaving the building holding a large black bag.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler arrived at the scene around 11:15 a.m. Shortly after, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw arrived.
Jones said it’s “early, early in the investigation even though it’s been a few hours,” so investigators will remain at the scene through Sunday afternoon at least.
In a statement, Chief Outlaw said:”Calls involving armed and threatening subjects are complex and quickly evolving. This investigation is in the beginning stages and we ask for patience as it unfolds. We will make every attempt to provide as much information to the public as we can that will not jeopardize the investigation.”
She also said in a statement that this was the third hostage situation involving an armed suspect police have responded to since October.
“The danger of these situations forces officers to rely upon deadly force, which is an option police would rather avoid having to use,” she wrote. “Due to the quick actions of the officers, the victim survived this incident with her life.”