PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A reckless driver in a vehicle suspected of being involved in an armed robbery was shot by Portland police after a confrontation in a Southeast Portland church parking lot, officials said Saturday.
The armed robbery on SE Powell Boulevard was reported about 12:25 a.m., officials said. An officer on patrol spotted a vehicle that fit the description and that the driver was being reckless.
The vehicle stopped in the parking lot of Reedwood Friends Church in the 2900 block of SE Steele. PPB Sgt. Kevin Allen told KOIN 6 News that is when the confrontation began between the officer and the driver before shots were fired.
The driver, whose name has not been released, was wounded. Officers called for an ambulance and the driver was rushed to a hospital for treatment. Allen said he is in serious condition but is expected to survive.
A resident in the Reedway neighborhood, Tanya, told KOIN 6 News she was washing clothes at a nearby laundromat when she heard the gunfire.
“As I was walking to the car I heard three shots. And it was that close I ducked,” Tanya said. “I was more startled by the gunshots. Yeah, I wasn’t thinking about the shots that they [police] made. I figured it was for a reason.”
As the investigation continued, PPB Chief Chuck Lovell arrived at the scene. Lovell briefed Mayor Wheeler on this shooting, the 9th officer-involved shooting of the year.
The wounded man remains hospitalized and is being detained under police guard. Allen said 3 other people were detained, but they have not yet been charged with any crimes. He said those 3 people have not been positively connected to the armed robbery, which “did not involve a business.”
The investigation is ongoing, he said.
Though this is the 9th PPB-involved shooting, not all of them have been fatal. Some shootings incurred injuries while others ended with no one hurt, Allen said.
Along with these, 3 other law enforcement shootings have happened inside the City of Portland this year — one each from Gresham police, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the US Marshals, he told KOIN 6 News.
It will be Chief Lovell’s decision whether to release the officers names in this shooting, Allen said. In recent shootings, their names have not been released over safety concerns, specifically the officers being doxxed.
But the burea understands “there is a great deal of public interest” in this and other officer-involved shootings. The need for transparency “is not lost on us,” Allen said.
Once the investigation is complete, all the details will be publicly posted on the PPB website, he said. The use of force review process is extensive, including both criminal matters and determining whether policy procedures were followed.
All of that takes a while, Allen said.
“We appreciate the public’s patience” during the investigation, he said. The case number is 22-803367.
Police ask anyone with potential information about the incident to contact:
> Detective Sean Macomber at Sean.Macomber@police.portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0404 >Detective Rico Beniga at Rico.Beniga@police.portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0457
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.