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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shootout with Cops Leads to Tense Manhunt in SW; One Officer Injured

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:44 AM

The first reports, in the wee hours this morning, mentioned something about an armed man running through a neighborhood in Southwest Portland—around SW Capitol and Primrose—and police calling out their tactical unit.

But the real story about what was happening while most of us slept didn't spill out until a little after 7 this morning in a long police statement. It's not been revealed what led to the encounter. But this is what police say happened: A man, maybe carrying a rifle, had injured a canine-handling officer in a shootout near SW Capitol and Lobelia—and then had run off. There might have been some kind of car crash.

That's when the tactical team was called. That's when police agencies from across the region were called. That's when the police bureau brought out its airplane. And that's when residents nearby were told—via a "reverse 911 call"—to stay inside their homes while roads were closed.

The Oregonian interviewed a woman near the scene of the shooting. She said the alert to stay inside came about an hour after she heard gunshots and a crash.

Jan Thorpe, who lives on Southwest Capitol Highway at Lobelia Street, said she was first roused from sleep about 2:50 a.m. by a police siren. Then she heard a crash.

“It sounded pretty close so I went to the front to see if it was in my yard,” Thorpe said.

Then she heard gunfire: “pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.”

Thorpe hit the floor.

“I was so afraid,” Thorpe said. “I crawled back to the bedroom.”

A little while later, regular 911 calls, from concerned neighbors, eventually led police to the man they were seeking. He was over on SW Oleson and injured badly enough that he had to be taken to a hospital. Police say he didn't fight them then. They haven't released details on his injuries or whether he fired first or not.

According to KGW, the suspected gunman, running through yards and injured, threatened to shoot a civilian. The neighbor had come outside after hearing his dog barking, and after calling the police, and confronted the figure he saw.

As Bell walked out on his deck, he saw the suspect running away and chased him, he told KGW. The suspect then pointed a rifle in his face and said, "I don't want to shoot, but I will if I have to."

Bell said he had already called police and the next move was up to suspect. The suspect, who was bloodied and acting strange, then ambled off.

Bell returned to his home and discovered his cars had been prowled. Shortly after that, police and SWAT officers arrived. His wife, who was watching the news, told him of the danger he had put himself in.

"You better get back here, there's a guy with a gun," she said. "Yeah, I just met him," Bell replied.

It's the second police shooting this year, after the death of Kelly Mark Swoboda last month. It's also the second shooting in which an officer also was shot. The last police shooting that also saw officers shot came in 2011, when Ralph Clyde Turner fired at two officers who knocked on his door in SW Portland and then sniped at one of the officers who'd been advancing on his house through a nearby park. This is the third police shooting in a row, including the death of Santiago Cisneros in March 2013, in which someone fired a gun at officers. No officers were injured in that shooting.

The officer who was injured has not been identified. But his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The bureau also says his police dog, wearing a tactical vest, is still missing and might be hurt, scared, or both—and shouldn't be approached.

Update 9:50 AM: The police dog's body has been found. It received a fatal gunshot wound—at least one, maybe more. Officers also say they've found the man's gun, near the spot where he was arrested. A briefing is expected within the hour from Police Chief Mike Reese. We'll have more information then.///

You probably know about some of this if you tried commuting up SW Capitol, which remains closed this morning. Trimet says "bus lines 43, 44 and 64 are detouring around the area closed by police."

The full police statement is after the jump.

UPDATE 4:40 PM: The bureau has identified the officer involved and his dog. Jeff Dorn, a Portland cop for 16 years said in a statement that his dog, Mick, "saved my life." The bureau also says Dorn was shot in the legs during the encounter with a 20-year-old subject. The incident started with a car crash after a reported burglary. Two men were arrested at the crash site, with the third eventually found and arrested.

POLICE OFFICER INJURED IN SW PORTLAND SHOOTING - SUSPECT IN CUSTODY (PHOTO)

News Release from Portland Police Bureau
Posted on FlashAlert: April 16th, 2014 7:11 AM
Downloadable file: Missing_K-9.jpg
This morning, Wednesday April 16, 2014, at approximately 2:51 a.m., a Portland Police K-9 Officer was injured during a shootout with a suspect near Southwest Capitol Highway and Lobelia Street.

The officer, assigned to the K-9 Unit, suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and was transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for treatment.

The suspect fled the shooting scene on foot and and a large neighborhood perimeter was established along Southwest Capitol Highway.

The Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) responded to the scene and began assisting patrol officers in searching for the suspect, believed to be armed with an AR-15-type rifle.

The Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) initiated a reverse 9-1-1 call to area residents asking people to remain in their homes and to call 9-1-1 if they saw anything suspicious.

The Portland Police Bureau Air Support Unit responded to the area and assisted with the search for the suspect.

Calls to 9-1-1 by residents assisted police officers in locating the suspect in the 6900 block of Southwest Oleson Road. The suspect was contacted by SERT and taken into custody without incident.

The suspect, a male adult, has been transported to a Portland area hospital for treatment to unknown injuries.

No additional suspects are outstanding and there is no risk to the public.

Officers have not located the suspect's rifle and are continuing to search the area for the gun. Anyone finding this rifle or other suspicious items in their yard are asked to immediately call 9-1-1.

Additionally, the K-9 Officer's partner/dog is believed to be injured and lost somewhere in the area of the shooting. Multiple officers are continuing to search the area for the K-9 and are asking for the public's help.

Anyone seeing or hearing sounds of an injured German Shepherd are asked to immediately call 9-1-1. The photo being released is of the K-9 and he will be wearing a Portland Police Bureau harness/vest. Anyone seeing the dog should not approach him as he may be in significant distress.

The investigative phase into the shooting is now beginning and detectives are at the scene.

Traffic along a large section of Southwest Capitol Highway, from Multnomah Boulevard to Barbur Boulevard is closed and commuters should seek alternate routes.

The injured officer is in good spirits and is mostly concerned about his K-9 partner. The officer and his family request complete privacy at this time.

Updates will be provided later today on the investigation.

The Portland Police Bureau would like to thank the numerous officers and firefighters from Metro agencies that responded to assist. These agencies include, but are not limited to: Tualatin Police, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Beaverton Police, Sherwood Police, Milwaukie Police, and Portland Fire & Rescue.

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