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Monday, March 22, 2010

BREAKING: Police Shoot Man at Hoyt Arboretum

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Original post, 4:00 PM:
Let's hope this is not a case of "here we go again."

This announcement just came from the Portland Police:


At 3:05 p.m., Portland Police Officers responded to the Hoyt Arboretum on a call of a disturbance in the area of the park. Officers made contact with a subject and it has been reported that shots were fired. At this time, we are attempting to determine the exact details of the incident as well as the media staging area. We will update all media as soon as possible.

More updates as soon as we have them.

4:14 PM: The police scanner says the PD will be sending over a mobile precinct, the high-visibility unit that resembles an RV... and seen here doing outreach.

Police spokeswoman Mary Wheat, left, with an officer and Commissioner Saltzman at the scene
  • Police spokeswoman Mary Wheat, left, with an officer and Commissioner Saltzman at the scene

4:59 PM: Stefan Kamph here. Sarah's up at the scene, and will be filing reports by phone. Here's the latest: There's caution tape closing off the road at SW Fischer and Fairview, blocking access to all of Hoyt Arboretum. Police are ordering everybody out of the park, and a stream of hikers is heading down the hill. Helicopters are circling and the news media are gathered, waiting for updates. Portland Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman is on the scene. A swarm of reporters asked him if anything's been released; he said only that "there's been a fatality." A reporter asked if he was "going to start showing up at shootings like this." "I'm not operating out of a playbook here," said Saltzman. He seems a little shaken.
Commissioner Saltzman had not much to say to a swarm of reporters
  • Commissioner Saltzman had not much to say to a swarm of reporters

5:02 PM: Police spokeswoman Mary Wheat just hosted a live press briefing. She gave some details: at about 3 pm, officers responded to a disturbance near the arboretum office. After arriving, an officer shot one adult male. Medical help was immediately called, and the man was pronounced dead. The officer was not harmed. Police say they can't go into details now; investigators have just arrived at the scene. They are confirming again that a man was shot by an officer. "We'll be out here all night piecing this together, and we don't anticipate any more updates today," said Wheat. A reporter from KATU asked her if it was strange that Saltzman was present. She responded, "He's free to be here. He's the commissioner and we'll brief him."

5:53 PM: WW and KATU have reports from some witnesses of the shooting. WW reports it got a phone call from someone visiting the arboretum this afternoon who said she heard witnesses report to the Portland police what happened: “Some people say they heard the cops screaming ‘drop it, drop it,’ and then the guy said “no, no, no, I’m not going to drop it’ and then they heard bang, bang, bang.”

Here KATU's interview with a woman who heard the shots, but it does not shed much light on what went down:



There are plenty of mentally ill people who hang around Washington Park during the day, could one of them have caused the "disturbance"? If anyone was in the park and heard or saw anything relating to the shooting, call and fill us in at 503-853-0098 or send us an email. Without more details from the public or police, we've got nothing to do but speculate.

Update 7:54 am, 4/23: The Oregonian is reporting that the victim is a white man in his 40s who police were not able to identify yesterday. The medical examiners office is planned for 10 AM this morning to ID the man and determine cause of death.

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