Reed College has been on alert for the past hour and a half, after Portland Police followed a man they believe to be armed onto the East Campus parking lot.
"Police gave us a description of the person as armed and desperate," says assistant director of communications Kevin Myers. The building closest to the parking lot just off SE Woodstock is locked, but Myers says employees are free to leave if they want to.
The possibly armed man has been in his car in the parking lot for the past ninety minutes and campus admin has been sending out updates to the roughly 200 employees on campus via email, text, and phone calls.
Portland Police public information officer Pete Simpson says that officers are not approaching the car until they know it's safe, but that the man appears to be "either deceased or unresponsive." It's possible he committed suicide.
More updates when we have them.
Update 5:30 pm—Looks like they found the apparently suicidal guy dead in his car. Sad sad sad. I always think it's weird when news about death is framed as a traffic update about which roads were blocked. Anyway, here's the police update:
Portland Police Officers responded to the East Parking lot of Reed College in the 3600 block of Southeast 21st Avenue today, December 20, 2010, at approximately 2:30 p.m. after a cell phone ping placed a missing suicidal man at that location. Reed College Campus Security and Portland Police Officers found the man's vehicle in the lot and noted a person slumped over in the vehicle. Officers were unable to get the person in the vehicle to respond. The Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) sent a unit of officers to the scene to safely approach the vehicle.
Officers blocked Southeast Woodstock Boulevard in both directions at 35th Avenue and 37th Avenue while the SERT members approached the vehicle. Officers discovered a deceased male inside the vehicle. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner will be responding to the scene.