UPDATED 5PM: The man is in custody unscathed! After his family arrived to help talk him down, the knife-wielding man complied with police demands to drop his knives, and was then arrested with no shots being fired.
This just in from the police:
This afternoon, Friday February 17, 2012, at 2:15 p.m., Portland Police were called to the area of Northeast 36th Avenue and Liberty Street regarding a male standing in the middle of the street with a bunch of knives saying he wants to commit "suicide by cop."
Officers responded and are currently attempting to talk to the man, who remains armed and non-complaint in the street.
Traffic is blocked in both directions on Northeast 33rd Avenue between Rosa Parks and Lombard Street. Faubion School is currently in lockdown as a result of this call.
Some members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) are at the scene and others are enroute.
News Editor Denis Theriault is on the scene, but says nothing has changed since the release went out. An ambulance is on location. We'll update with news as it happens. Police have recently been trained to walk away from unstable individuals, to avoid escalating the situation. We'll see how that pans out here.
UPDATE 3:41PM—Officers in camouflage are fanning out through backyards near the intersection, carrying large weapons, says Denis. It's unclear whether they're real guns or less-lethal devices, like beanbag guns.
UPDATE 3:51PM—The police just held a mini-press conference at the site. The police say they have the guy "contained" but it's a "loose containment." According to the police, they have a perimeter of officers with less-lethal weapons around the guy (who is in the open and on foot) and there are officers and mental health workers negotiating with the man, who is telling officers he wants to be shot. The police are a little worried they he may try to force his way into someone's house. Additionally, there is a robot on the scene, which can deliver things to the guy without an officer having to get near him.
UPDATE 4:26PM—According to police, the man has been identified and his family is onsite helping talk him down. He is still refusing to drop his knives.
UPDATE 4:57PM—The man is complying with commands to put down the knives and has kicked them to the yard.