PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man who is suspected of crashing a stolen car is dead after police found him and opened fire in SE Portland Saturday night, according to Portland Police.
Portland police said it all started with a carjacking on the east side earlier in the day. A silver Honda CRV was taken by force and turned up when the suspect crashed near SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and SE Stark.
The man who was driving took off around 7:30 p.m. and then witnesses said officers swarmed the building where the Cityteam Ministries Portland Shelter is located, 526 SE Grand.
“Right inside the doorway, they had barely stepped inside, they went right inside, yelling commands and then they started shooting,” witness John Terrio said.
The suspect died at the scene and his name has not yet been released. Police are not sure if he was the same person who stole the car, even though they did suspect him of doing it when the officer-involved shooting took place.
A vigil was held for the man on Sunday.
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw released a statement on Sunday afternoon regarding the shooting.
“The Portland Police Bureau values human life and accepts the authority to use lethal force with great reverence,” Outlaw said in a press release. “I am aware a video was taken of this incident by a community member and that video was posted to the internet. Please be reminded that deadly force investigations are extremely complex and take time. The Police Bureau is committed to transparency and will ensure the entire investigation is released in a timely manner that does not impact the integrity of the investigation.”
The ACLU of Oregon released a statement on Sunday, calling for a transparent investigation into the shooting. The statement was released by David Rogers with ACLU.
“Bystander video of the fatal shooting of a man in a homeless shelter in Portland last night raises serious questions about how police handled the situation and whether lethal force was called for. Trained police officers should use the least amount of force necessary.
“The video shows a disturbing and chaotic scene of people in the shelter running and yelling in fear, while others looked on, including one person in a wheelchair, as Portland Police officers enter the building with guns drawn. In less than a minute, officers shoot and kill the man, while members of an already traumatized population, Portland’s homeless community, watch in horror. Was there any attempt to de-escalate the situation before officers open fire inside the homeless shelter full of innocent bystanders? If not, why not?
“We join many in the community by calling for a prompt, thorough, and transparent investigation into this shooting. The public deserves to get a detailed account of why this man was shot and what actions Portland Police took to avoid yet another fatal shooting.
“This marks the fifth fatal shooting by police in Oregon in 2018, putting it on track to be one of the deadliest years yet. Such excessive force by police is particularly disturbing given its disproportionate impact on people of color. Drastic changes are needed in our approach to public safety. Law enforcement in Oregon should treat all communities with dignity, employ restraint on police power, and use only the degree of force necessary to maintain the community’s safety.
“Were it not for the bystander video, Portlanders would again have no record of an interaction with police that turned deadly. To provide more objective evidence of police encounters, law-enforcement agencies should adopt use of body-worn cameras. Body-worn cameras could increase transparency, promote police accountability, and help ensure interactions with community members are fair and lawful.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also released a statement on Sunday night, saying it would be irresponsible to “participate in speculation” regarding the shooting until an investigation reveals more facts.
“Last night officers responded to multiple calls for service regarding a suspect that ultimately ended in an officer involved shooting,” Wheeler said in a statement. “The loss of a life is always tragic. My priority is to discover the facts and circumstances regarding this incident. Already, there are those who want to immediately define what happened. It would be highly irresponsible for me to participate in speculation at this time. I urge us all to allow investigators to do their work, to uncover the facts, and to report on their findings.”
No officers were injured. The officers names will be released Sunday and they are all on paid administrative leave, standard practice in similar situations. They will also be interviewed by investigators within 48 hours.