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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Updated! Second Police Shooting of 2013 Turns Fatal Overnight

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Investigators swarm the Lloyd District garage where police shot a man.

UPDATE 11:50 AM: I'm trying to piece together some sense of what Cisneros was doing atop the garage. A Linked In profile listed for Santiago A. Cisneros III had him as a legal intern at a Seattle-area law firm, said he'd studied at Portland Community College, and said also he'd been a mechanic in the US Army.

A 2009 news story from Seattle's KOMO makes mention of a Santiago Cisneros who struggled with PTSD and tried to commit suicide months after leaving Iraq. Again, Portland police say they are still investigating why Cisneros was atop the garage and why he fired a shotgun at officers.

The woman who answered the phone at the firm listed in the profile, Chung, Malhas, Mantel & Robinson, told me she wasn't authorized to provide any information, but took a message, when asked about Cisneros.

UPDATE 10:13 AM: Right when I was posting this, the bureau sent out a lengthy update.

The dead man shot atop the Metro garage in Lloyd Center last night has been identified as 32-year-old Santiago A. Cisneros III. And the bureau says Cisneros had a shotgun that he fired "multiple" times at two cops, missing them, before they fired back a few seconds later, knocking him to the ground. The two cops were driving their cars to the top of the garage when, "unexpectedly, the officers were immediately confronted by a man associated with a vehicle," according to a police bureau statement.

The statement doesn't say why were headed to the garage or why Cisneros was there—was he suicidal? wanted? Sergeant Pete Simpson tells me "all of those things are still being investigated."

The bureau says the North Precinct cops who shot Cisneros, one with 10 years in Portland, the other four, won't be identified until tomorrow. They'll also be interviewed on Thursday, as per the police union contract's 48-hour waiting period on internal investigations.

But the cops who shot Cisneros weren't the cops who approached him to get him medical help. A team of "cover" officers and a sergeant showed up, and one of those officers grabbed a ballistic shield to get closer to Cisneros, who was still moving and "next to" the shotgun. He was "put in custody" and then paramedics worked on him before running him to an unidentified hospital.

Separately, the mayor's office has since confirmed that Mayor Charlie Hales did not come down to the Lloyd District last night. He was represented by his chief of staff, Gail Shibley, and his public safety director, Baruti Artharee.

Original post resumes here: The Portland Police Bureau says officers last night shot and injured an unidentified man atop Metro's Lloyd District parking garage—marking the city's second police shooting this year and, of note, the second in just the past 15 days.

The man wasn't killed immediately. An ambulance took him to a hospital, Sergeant Pete Simpson told me about an hour after the 10:45 shooting, as investigators and officials from Chief Mike Reese's and Mayor Charlie Hales' offices and others huddled outside a mobile command unit on NE 7th and Lloyd.

But the man died overnight, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed this morning, declining to release any other details. Police also haven't said much more this morning, owing to the ongoing investigation and while awaiting autopsy results.

The police bureaus mobile command center. In case that isnt obvious.
  • The police bureau's mobile command center. In case that isn't obvious.

Still, in one shift from the February 17 shooting of Merle Hatch—who taunted cops outside Portland Adventist Medical Center before charging them with a broken phone handset—the bureau has definitively described the man killed last night as "armed." The initial releases after Hatch's shooting mentioned only reports he was armed and cops wouldn't confirm anything more bedrock than that for days.

The bureau has not, however, released whether or what kind of weapon was found—including whether it may have been a replica handgun. The last man cops shot and killed atop a parking garage, Bradley Morgan, had been threatening to kill himself when cops say he pointed what turned out to be a replica handgun their way.

Police agencies across the country have also been in mourning in recent days after a convicted sex offender with Portland ties shot and killed two cops in Santa Cruz, California. In the Bay Area over the weekend, cops in four different cities shot and killed people. One Oakland civil rights lawyer, whose battles with that city's police department over unconstitutional force and shoddy investigations have led to a federal takeover, shared one theory about the spike with the Oakland Tribune.

"You have more police shootings of civilians after there's been a fatal police shootig," said the attorney, John Burris. "That's always of concern because you wonder whether or not police are overreacting to an event because of heightened fear."

Simpson said last night a more detailed update might emerge later this afternoon. We'll update if anything breaks sooner.

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