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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Man Shot at Hoyt Arboretum Had Knife, Was Covered in Blood, Say Police

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Here's the release from the police about yesterday's shooting. A press conference is scheduled for 11:30 AM with the chief.


On Monday, March 22, 2010, at 3:05 p.m., a Portland Police Officer was dispatched to the Hoyt Arboretum following a 9-1-1 call regarding a man who was harassing and threatening people. Officer Jason Walters, a 13-year veteran, arrived at the scene at 3:24 p.m. and made contact with the man who was in the bathroom near the Hoyt Arboretum office. The man, who had significant blood on him, confronted the officer with a razor knife.

The officer retreated and gave repeated commands to the subject to drop the razor knife, but the subject refused to do so. The officer and the subject began moving out of the bathroom area, with the subject still approaching the officer with the razor knife. At this point, the officer fired shots at the subject. The officer immediately requested medical assistance and the subject was pronounced dead upon Medical's arrival.

Additional officers and investigators arrived and began to set up a perimeter and talk to witnesses. Some witnesses had left the scene prior to investigators arriving, and Detectives want to find those individuals and anyone who was in the area and might have information about this incident.

An autopsy is scheduled for today. The Medical Examiner will determine the identity of the individual and attempt to notify next of kin. The officer involved has not been interviewed yet, as well as other witnesses, who have not been located. Once these interviews have been completed, the Police Bureau will release additional details to the media and the community.

The Oregonian's tough-to-read mobile news blog has a response from police union President Scott Westerman.

Scott Westerman, president of the Portland Police Association, said he's been asked frequently this morning why the officer would opt for a firearm over a Taser. He said the officer didn't have "lethal cover" at the scene. If the officer used a Taser and it failed, the officer "gets sliced."

Without being officially briefed by investigators or discussing the incident with the officer involved, Westerman described the altercation this way to the Oregonian:

Scott Westerman, president of the Portland Police Association, said the officer involved in Monday afternoon's shooting at the Hoyt Arboretum had responded to a call of a possible drunk transient who was “not being violent at the time.”

He said the officer headed to the scene and instantaneously a man emerged from the bathroom of the visitors center and charged the officer with a knife.

“He came at the officer with a knife,” Westerman said. “The officer tried to retreat and the officer ended up firing because he was not able to get away fast enough.”

He said the officer, a 13-year veteran of the force who was named officer of the month in March at Central Precinct, did not communicate with the man. “There was no chance for dialogue,” Westerman said.

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