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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Jonah Aaron Potter (non-fatal)

PPB Case ## 12-25598

Date: March 26, 2012

Suspect: Jonah Aaron Potter, 31

Involved Officers: Officers Dennis Wilcox Larry Wingfield, Richard Storm, and Tracy Chamberlin

On Monday, March 26, 2012, at 7:30 a.m., Portland Police officers assigned to East Precinct located a vehicle parked on Southeast 37th Avenue, between Stark and Oak Street. The vehicle was suspected of being involved in an armed robbery the prior day.

The robbery occurred at 11:47 a.m. on March 25, 2012, at Jae's Market, located at 4735 Southeast Belmont Street. The suspect in the robbery was armed with a handgun and demanded money from the clerk. After the robbery, the suspect fled the area in a dark blue, 4-door foreign car. The suspect was described as a white male in his 20s, 5'9", 170 pounds, wearing all black clothing, armed with a handgun.  

When officers located the vehicle, they noticed an adult male apparently sleeping in the car. Officers backed away from the vehicle and maintained visual surveillance of it and asked for additional resources to respond. A sergeant called for a limited deployment of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) to respond with an armored vehicle and a custody team, which would be used to make a safe approach to the vehicle and make the arrest. Officers developed a contingency plan of conducting a high-risk vehicle stop and set up spike strips to the north of the vehicle in the event the suspect tried to speed away. The primary goal was to contain the suspect in the street and not let him out into the community creating a greater risk to the public.

As officers were awaiting the arrival of SERT, the suspect began to wake up and move around in the car. Concerned that the suspect might escape into the neighborhood, officers conducted a high-risk vehicle stop and gave commands to him.

The suspect began to get out of the vehicle armed with a handgun. Four officers fired their weapons striking the suspect. The officers then approached the suspect, secured him and the handgun, and then rendered first aid. They also called for medical personnel to respond. No officers were injured.

The four officers were: Officer Dennis Wilcox, a 21-year-veteran; Officer Larry Wingfield, a 20-year-veteran; Officer Richard Storm, a 13-year-veteran; and Officer Tracy Chamberlin, a 14-year-veteran.

The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Jonah Aaron Potter. He was transported to an area hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. He was treated and lodged into the Multnomah County Detention Center.  

After securing the handgun, officers determined that it was a realistic-looking replica firearm that was determined to be a pellet gun.

On April 9, 2012, a Multnomah Grand Jury found that the officers involved were justified in this shooting.

Potter pleaded guilty in Multnomah County Circuit Court to two counts of attempted second-degree robbery and two counts of menacing.  On July 22, 2012, he was sentenced to five years in prison.  The Multnomah County District Attorney did not release Grand Jury transcripts in this case.

As part of the use of force review process, the Bureau conducted an internal review of the entire incident and the case went before the Police Review Board (PRB), which is comprised of community members, Bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division. The shooting was found to be "in-policy" by the PRB.