PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four Portland police officers and a suspect exchanged gunfire Friday night in Northeast Portland, leaving the suspect in critical condition and a major investigation underway.
The officers, all part of the Focused Intervention Team, have not yet been identified, nor has the suspect. Authorities said the officers will be identified later Saturday and the suspect — an adult man — “will be identified only after he is charged with a crime.”
The shooting took place around 9:15 p.m. near NE 78th Avenue and Mason Street when two officers from the Focused Intervention Team conducted a traffic stop for “multiple violations.” What led up to the shooting remains unclear at this point.
“We’re not releasing any of that particular information at this early stage. We certainly have an idea but we don’t want to make any assumptions,” said PPB Sgt. Kevin Allen. “The driver of that vehicle was pulled over for multiple traffic violations and that was the initiation of the stop.”
The suspect was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital and remains in critical condition, police said.
Authorities said a semiautomatic handgun was seized at the scene. Initial reports that an officer was shot proved to be unfounded. No officer was injured.
PPB said the exchange of gunfire could have had a much different ending in the middle of a residential neighborhood. They’re grateful no one else was injured besides the suspect.
“This is one of those scary types of incidents, especially because we were in a very residential area and there are families that live all up and down that street,” said Allen. “We’re so grateful the officers weren’t injured and members of the community weren’t injured in this. We have gunfire in our neighborhoods and it’s always terrifying because those bullets can strike anybody.”
The 4 officers were identified Saturday night:
- Officer Adi Ramic, a 12-year veteran of PPB
- Officer Michelle Petty, a 5-year veteran
- Officer Whitney Anderson, a 3-year veteran
- Officer John Bartlett, a 5-year veteran
All 4 officers are on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard protocol. The officers involved have between 3 and 12 years experience.
Asked if these officers on leave would affect FIT, Allen said it will have some affect.
“That will limit the effectiveness of the team. These are high quality officers, they work together well. The rest of the team will certainly still be out and about doing their job,” said Allen. “It will certainly have an impact on our ability to do the important work. At the same time, we know the work that the Focused Intervention Team is doing is incredibly important right now with the gun violence issues that we’re having here in Portland.”
PPB said it is conducting an internal review of the shooting before the case goes to the Police Review Board, a group of community members, law enforcement personnel and representatives of the Independent Police Review Division.
Files and any potential grand jury transcripts will be added to PPB’s public archive of officer-involved shootings after the entire investigation and legal process is completed, police said.
This is a developing story.
KOIN 6 News’ Elise Haas contributed to this article.