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Friday, December 17, 2010

Man Shot By Police Wielded Fake Gun

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 4:20 PM

UPDATE 4:57 PM — Court records show that Ferguson was a registered sex offender, having been convicted of rape in 1988. The files say he was routinely taking meds for depression and anxiety, including medical marijuana, and had received counseling for alcoholism. Recently, he had been put on probation because he failed to register as a sex offender. That would make Ferguson that fourth person with mental illness to be fatally shot in a Portland police officer-involved-shooting this year.

Records from when Ferguson failed to register in 2007 paint a troubled picture. He was listed as unemployed and a transient, with his address at the seedy Unicorn Hotel on 82nd Avenue. On a page about warning signs, the officer checked "yes" to option reading, "Defendant has no regular, verifiable contact with family or significant others in local community."

KGW has an old booking photo of Ferguson, and his live-in partner, Marsha Lawson (who is listed in court documents both as Ferguson's girlfriend and caregiver), posted this photo of him and a cat on her Myspace.

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Original post 4:20 pm:

The man shot and killed by police last night at an East Portland apartment complex aimed a fake gun at police, the cops now report. A photo of a toy gun the police say is a "very accurate depiction" of the gun used in the incident is below the cut.

Officers arrived at the Ventura Park apartments at 3:47 last night, responding to a call from an apartment resident who said a man was threatening them with a 9mm handgun. Officers went to the apartment to contact the suspect, who then aimed the fake handgun at them. The officers quickly fired shots, killing the man who is now known to be 45-year-old Darryel Dwayne Ferguson.

A toddler, two women, and another adult male were in the apartment. One neighbor says he counted 16 shell casings in the hallway.

The door frame has been taken off the apartment, Room 201. Leaning against the building wall, bullet holes were clearly visible in it. Neighbors report that Ferguson would quarrel with other complex residents and that he once showed his neighbor a sawed-off shotgun he said he owned. Neighbors also say he would tell them that he was dying of either cancer or AIDS and that he seemed to have some mental health issues. But he was at turns also very generous—his next door neighbors say he once stopped by and gave them a typewriter for free.

News Editor Denis Theriault sends this photo from the scene, snapped by neighbor Gabriel Beasley on Friday morning and shared with the Mercury:

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Here's a photo Denis took of the doorway, as it looked a few hours later.

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In a pretty serious "whoops!", The Oregonian briefly misidentified the man killed as Darrell Lynn Ferguson. Their website is fixed now, but here's a screenshot of the story "in transition":

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Fake gun photo below the cut.

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