February 18, 2023 09:58
*This version adds the photo*
Brent B. Lusted, 63, of Portland, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on four counts each of Arson in the First Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Menacing.
The Fire Investigations Unit served a search warrant in the apartment and recovered what turned out to be a BB rifle (photo). No evidence of gunfire was found. It's not clear what the loud banging sounds that were heard from within the apartment.
The Portland Police Bureau is grateful to the Gresham Police Department, the Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team, and East Metro SWAT for assisting with additional equipment.
The Portland Fire Investigations Unit comprises Portland Fire & Rescue fire investigators, who are sworn law enforcement officers, and a detective with the Portland Police Bureau. The collaboration leverages the specialized training and skills needed to investigate fires, including analysis equipment and accelerant detecting dogs.
Photo description: Brass and wood rifle displayed on a chair
***Original Messages Below***
On Friday, February 17, 2023 at 1:34p.m., North Precinct officers responded to the Schrunk Riverview Tower Apartments at 8832 North Syracuse Street on a Hazardous Condition call. A resident on the 8th floor of the building was reportedly in mental health crisis and throwing furniture and other objects off the balcony of his unit.
When officers knocked on the suspect's door, he answered the door holding a rifle, then closed the door. The officers backed off and requested additional resources to the scene. A short time later, at 2:10p.m., officers heard the sound of a shot inside the apartment. Another officer saw the suspect come out onto the north-facing balcony holding the rifle.
Officers believed that this situation was an extreme public safety concern as it was an armed subject barricaded in an elevated apartment firing a rifle. Officers began closing streets in the area, restricting pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Officers used the Community Emergency Notification System (CENS) to alert residents in a four-block radius that there was police activity and ask that they shelter in place. Officers continued to periodically hear the sound of gunfire from within the unit, and the suspect was seen with the gun on the balcony multiple times.
The Special Emergency Reaction Team and Crisis Negotiation Team responded to the scene. Residents of two units were evacuated. It was unsafe to evacuate any other units, so building residents were directed to shelter in place. The area closure included North Ivanhoe Street to North Edison Street, North St. Louis Avenue to North Pittsburgh Avenue.
The suspect began to light items on fire on the balcony. Officers loud-hailed the suspect from the hallway. He came out and was taken into custody at 4:58p.m. But by that time, the fire had grown to fully engulf the balcony and was extending into the unit. Portland Fire and Rescue responded and began attacking the flames, while officers began assisting residents to evacuate the building. One resident was transported for a medical issue during the evacuation.
The fire was extinguished, and the Fire Investigations Unit, a collaboration between the Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue, is investigating the fire. There was smoke and water damage to multiple units. By about 5:30p.m., residents of undamaged units were released to go back in the building.
The suspect is being detained by police pending additional investigation. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance as a precaution. There were no injuries reported. The suspect's identity is not being released at this time.
PPB was able to communicate critical public safety information to the community thanks to CENS, also known as PublicAlerts. Visit www.publicalerts.org to sign up. PublicAlerts sends information by text, email, and voice message about how to stay safe during an emergency.
***Original Messages Below***
The suspect who was firing shots in the Cathedral Park Neighborhood has been taken into custody and the firearm involved is secure. No reports of any injuries. However, the area remains closed as Portland Fire and Rescue is responding to a fire in the building, the Schrunk Riverview Tower Apartments, 8832 North Syracuse Street. Officers are assisting with evacuations. This remains an active incident and more information will be released when available.
***Original Message Below***
The Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team are responding to the 8800 block of North Syracuse Street on a report of a suspect firing shots in the neighborhood. The suspect has been contained, but there still is an active danger to the public. Residents are being asked to shelter in place. Officers may be evacuating some residents.
The area is being closed to all traffic. North Ivanhoe Street is closed between North Philadelphia Avenue to North St. Louis Avenue. The PIO is responding to the scene.
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