1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
May 19, 2005 00:00
On Thursday, May 19, 2005, at 6:43 am, Central Precinct officers shot and fatally wounded a 48-year-old man who lunged at officers with a knife. The shooting occurred shortly after officers were called to the area of Southwest 4th Avenue and West Burnside regarding an agitated man with a knife. The first officer arrived and saw the man standing on the sidewalk near the Northwest corner of the intersection. That officer, a 25-year-old, three-year veteran, attempted to talk to the suspect and then take hold of him. As the officer was attempting to take control of the suspect, he brandished a knife and began to swing it toward the officer. Three additional officers arrived as the first officer was stepping back from the suspect. Based on witness statements, officers repeatedly told the suspect to drop his knife just before he lunged directly at the officers.
Citizen witnesses confirm that the shooting occurred at a distance of two to three feet as the suspect lunged at the officers. Three officers, a 37-year-old, ten-year veteran, and a 33-year-old, seven-year veteran and the original responding officer fired a total of six rounds at the suspect who died at the scene. The knife was found under the suspect and a pipe used to smoke crack cocaine was found nearby. Homicide Detectives and members of the East County Major Crimes Team were called to the scene and have initiated an investigation.
“It is always unfortunate when an officer is forced to use deadly force,” says Chief Derrick Foxworth. “With every deadly force incident the community has many questions about the use of deadly force. In this incident, a person fought with one officer and then upon the arrival of other officers, refused instructions to drop his knife and charged officers. The suspect’s actions forced the officers into making a decision which no officer wants to make.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Rich Austria at (503) 823-0449 or Detective Ken Whattam at (503) 823-0696.
This investigation is continuing.
Sgt. Pete Simpson