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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Details in Police Shooting of Suicidal Man: Gun Near Front Door, but not on Man.

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 3:46 PM

The police released more details today about the incident that led to the Portland police shooting of a man last Friday night. Over the weekend, the police issued a limited report on the incident, saying an officer fired one shot into the man, Aaron Campbell, "in response to perceived threatening actions" and that "the actions of the man that was shot will be fully released to the public after all officers and witnesses have been interviewed."

The updated report adds that Campbell exited his house, put his hands behind his head and began to lower them. Having been told by Campbell's girlfriend that she had seen him slipping a gun into his coat pocket, officers believed he had a gun. Here's what happened next, according to the police:

Officers at the scene have stated that Campbell began moving very quickly backwards and refused an officer’s commands to put his hands up in the air. Instead, Campbell kept his hands behind his neck and then began to lower his hands. Campbell also began yelling at the officers that they were going to have to shoot him. One officer deployed two less lethal beanbag rounds striking Campbell, but Campbell did not comply with commands and began running back toward the apartment. The same officer deployed four more less lethal beanbag rounds, striking Campbell, but he still did not comply.

The officer involved in this shooting, Officer Frashour, had responded to the scene, had information that Campbell was suicidal and was armed with a gun. Officer Frashour saw Campbell come out of the apartment and saw that Campbell was moving very quickly and was not following the commands of the other officer. Officer Frashour witnessed the beanbag rounds being deployed and believed that the rounds were not having any effect on Campbell. Officer Frashour saw Campbell’s hands go to the back waistband of his pants while he appeared to be running toward an alcove in the apartment complex. Officer Frashour was concerned about the safety of residents inside the apartments where Campbell was running toward, the safety of his fellow officers who were behind the apartments, and his own safety.

Due to his belief that Campbell was armed, suicidal and possibly homicidal, Officer Frashour fired one AR-15 round, striking Campbell once.

Campbell's body fell behind a car. Unable to see whether he was alive and unable to approach him in "safe manner" the officers called the Bureau's Special Emergency Reaction Team. The team arrived 23 minutes later and pronounced Campbell dead.

Also new info:

Investigators did not find a gun on Campbell or near his body after the shooting. Later, during a search, Detectives located a handgun that had been placed in a closet near the front door of the apartment.

Officer Frashour has been placed on paid administrative leave, per Bureau policy, and the investigation surrounding the incidents of Campbell's death is ongoing.

We should stress that at this point, the only information being released about the incident is coming from the police, and should be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism.

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