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Monday, March 7, 2011

New Details in Police Shooting; Suspect Arraigned

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Ralph Clyde Turner was wheeled into court this afternoon.
  • Pool/The Oregonian
  • Ralph Clyde Turner was wheeled into court this afternoon.

Almost two hours after Ralph Clyde Turner, the suspect in Sunday's double-police shooting was arraigned on 10 counts of aggravated attempted murder, Portland police this afternoon released more information about the incident, identifying for the first time most of the officers who either fired their weapons or were fired on.

The bureau also confirms what we reported this morning, that Turner had no previous criminal record in Oregon, and also said he hadn't been a familiar face from the social services system. Turner, wearing an anti-suicide vest, was wheeled into Judge Jerome LaBarre's courtroom just before 2:30 this afternoon, and assigned a public defender. He appeared subdued and tired.

But police are still not naming the officer who was sent into surgery yesterday after being hit in the stomach by a rifle shot in the stomach, saying some of his relatives have yet to be notified because they are "still traveling from a great distance and have been unavailable."

Update 8:30 AM, Tuesday: Police early this morning released the injured officer's name: Parek Singh, who remains in serious condition.

The officer who negotiated Turner's safe surrender, however, was identified as Sergeant Troy King of the bureau's Hostate Negotiation Team. The officers who first knocked on Turner's door—which police say he shot through one with a handgun—were Andrew Kofoed and Timothy Lowry, joined by Sergeant Reed Hunt.

The bullet passed through the leg of Kofoed's pants, with shrapnel from the shot puncturing Hunt's hand and striking Kofoed's kevlar vest. The three officers called for backup and Kofoed reported he thought he'd been struck in the chest.

The Oregonian is reporting that Turner had closed his storm door but spoke to the officers from the other side of it and told them he had a gun. Police later found a rifle with a scope, and three other guns in the home.

Meanwhile, more officers arrived at nearby Brooklyn Park—including the cop who was shot in the stomach.

That happened about 10 minutes after the first shot was fired, while the still-unidentified officer was trying to take cover behind a tree. Police now say Turner also fired at two other responding officers, Sara Fox and Davonne Zentner before hitting the other officer. Zentner fired back at Turner, police say.

Turner was firing from the duplex unit on the right.
  • 3395 SE 10th St.: Turner was firing from the duplex unit on the right.
Officers Adam Barr and Richard Storm helped Fox move the injured officer to safety behind an outhouse at Brooklyn Park, where an ambulance was waiting. While they hustled the officer away, Officer Justin Clary fired his rifle at the garage of Turner's duplex unit, hoping to keep him from shooting.

When I was out at the duplex earlier today, a cluster of bullet holes could be seen in the upper right corner of the concrete surrounding the garage door.

Here's the full statement by police.

On Sunday March 6, 2011, at approximately 9:15 a.m., Portland Police officers responded to a residence in the 3300 block of Southeast 10th Avenue on the report of a distraught, suicidal 61-year-old man. The caller, 55-year-old Mari Kennedy, told the the 9-1-1 calltaker that her fiancé Ralph Turner was yelling that he didn't want to live and that he was alone at the location and threatening to hurt himself by taking pills. Ms. Kennedy told 9-1-1 that there were guns stored in the garage and it was unknown if Turner had them in his possession. Ms. Kennedy told 9-1-1 that she was getting all the information second hand from Turner's sister.

Central Precinct Officers Andrew Kofoed and Timothy Lowry arrived in the area at approximately 9:17 a.m., along with Sergeant Reed Hunt. Officer Kofoed attempted phone contact with Turner but did not receive an answer. Based on the information that Turner was talking about taking pills to hurt himself, the officers and sergeant approached the house on foot to contact Turner.

At approximately 9:22 a.m., Officers Kofoed and Lowry and Sergeant Hunt were outside the front door to Turner's residence, when Turner fired a single shot from a handgun through the door. The bullet went through Officer Kofoed's pant leg but did not strike him. Shrapnel from the door and/or door frame hit Officer Kofoed in the ballistic vest and also struck Sergeant Hunt in the hand.

The officers retreated from the door and immediately began requesting cover officers to respond. None of the initial officers returned fire at the suspect. The Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Hostage Negotiators were also requested to respond. Officer Kofoed broadcast that he believed he'd been shot in the abdomen and advised all responding officers to take hard cover as the gunman was still inside the residence.

At approximately 9:28 a.m., a 13-year-veteran of the Portland Police Bureau arrived and moved into Brooklyn Park and took a position on the Northwest side of the park behind a tree.

At approximately 9:32 a.m., Officer Sara Fox arrived at the corner of Southeast 10th and Haig and as she exited her car and moved to the north towards Officer Davonne Zentner.

At approximately 9:34 a.m., as Officer Fox ran towards Officer Zentner who was across the street from and just North of the suspect residence, the suspect fired several shots from a rifle at the officers. One of those shots struck the 13-year-veteran behind the tree. The officer was struck in the lower abdomen. Officer Zentner returned fire.

Officers Adam Barr, Richard Storm and Sara Fox immediately left positions of hard cover and rushed to perform an officer-rescue of the downed officer. They moved the officer to an area behind the Brooklyn Park bathroom then to a waiting ambulance for transport. The officer was transported by ambulance to Emanuel Hospital where he underwent surgery.

Officer Justin Clary provided cover fire from his AR-15 for the officer rescue and to prevent the suspect from continuing to fire at officers.

Sergeant Troy King of the Hostage Negotiation Team was enroute to the scene and made phone contact with Turner. As additional officers continued to arrive along with members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), Sgt. King maintained phone contact with Turner and convinced him to surrender to police.

At approximately 10:34 a.m., Turner exited the residence and surrendered to officers. Turner was transported to an area hospital for a medical evaluation on an unrelated health issue before being booked into the Multnomah County Jail last night on five counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder. The grand jury will consider additional charges against Turner.

Detectives are still conducting interviews related to yesterday's shooting. A Multnomah County Grand Jury began hearing evidence today. Detectives recovered several firearms and ammunition from inside the residence.

The suspect, Ralph Turner, is not someone previously known to police and has no known criminal history.

The 13-year-veteran police officer that was shot in the abdomen had surgery yesterday and has been upgraded from critical condition to serious condition and is expected to make a full recovery. His name will not be released yet as some members of his family are still traveling from a great distance and have been unavailable to be notified yet.

Officer Kofoed and Sergeant Hunt were not transported and were treated at the scene by medical personnel.

Several other Portland Police officers and sergeants were onscene and assisted with resolving this incident.

Updates on the investigation will be released as they become available.

Officer Andrew Kofoed is a 9-year-veteran assigned to Central Precinct.
Officer Timothy Lowry is a 9-year-veteran assigned to Central Precinct.
Sergeant Reed Hunt is a 26-year-veteran assigned to Central Precinct.
Officer Sara Fox is a 12-year-veteran assigned to Central Precinct.
Officer Davonne Zentner is a 4-year-veteran assigned to Central Precinct.
Officer Justin Clary is a 9-year-veteran assigned to North Precinct.
Officer Adam Barr is a 6-year-veteran assigned to North Precinct.
Officer Richard Storm is 12-year-veteran assigned to East Precinct.
Sergeant Troy King is a 17-year-veteran assigned to East Precinct.

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