Police officials have confirmed that a shootout outside Wilson High School in Hillsdale this afternoon left a suspect dead and a police officer injured—ending the city's second-longest stretch without a police shooting in more than 20 years. The shooting may be tied to police warnings earlier today about a suspicious brown van that had tailed students in the area.
Today, March 12, 2014, around 4 pm, Portland Police Youth Services officers and Central Precinct officers were responding to the area of Wilson High School on reports of a suspicious vehicle. Officers arrived in the area and a confrontation ensued. The investigation is still ongoing but one officer suffered non-life-threatening wounds and the suspect was shot and killed.
More updates will follow.
Update 8 PM: The bureau released another statement following a short press conference by Police Chief Mike Reese. It explicitly ties the shooting to stepped-up patrols for the suspicious vehicle, but doesn't say whether the man who was shot is the same person police were looking for.
The bureau did say—notably early in the process—that a firearm was recovered and that the suspect definitively shot the officer who was injured. But it's still not clear, at least based on my reading of statements and reports, whether the officer who shot and killed the man is the same officer who was injured.
The Oregonian talked to John Canda, the city's youth violence outreach coordinator, and his son, Bryce, who happened to be on scene. And though they said they saw an officer shoot a man who had pulled his hands out of is pockets, they didn't say they saw the suspect shoot that officer. Or that the officer was bleeding. The paper said another witness saw "another officer" being led away by paramedics.
Here's the latest statement:
Earlier today we reported that officers from Central Precinct and the Youth Services Division had taken reports of a suspicious male driving a van (see the earlier flash alert)in the area of Wilson High School. In response to these reports officers were providing extra patrol in the area.
At about 4:00 p.m., an officer assigned to this detail was shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The subject who shot the officer was also shot and killed. At this time we do not know if the subject is the suspect from the earlier suspicious person reports.
A firearm was recovered near the subject and the investigation is ongoing.
Portland Police Bureau Detectives responded as did the mayor, the chief, members from the Independent Police Review and the Police Bureau's Internal Affairs Division, the City Attorney's Office, the District Attorney's Office as well as detectives from other police agencies to assist in the investigation. The Portland Police Bureau is committed to transparency and will release additional information as soon as possible. The name of involved officer will not be released for 24-hours to provide time for notification to family.
Original post resumes: Earlier today, an hour or so before the shooting, the police bureau put out a notice that a suspicious brown van had been spotted near Wilson High, and that the driver, a man, had followed students. Cops said they planned to investigate, but that no crimes had been reported yet.
According to KGW, citing a spokesman for the Portland fire bureau, the man the officers confronted was shot in the head. The injured officer was shot in the hand, the station reported, and taken to Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital.
The Oregonian said "a witness heard an officer yell at a man to take his hands out of his pocket. He then said the officer fire five or six shots at the man and also saw the officer bleeding from the arm." The paper also said the shooting happened at a RE/MAX real estate office, and that "a suspect fired at a police officer."
The last police shooting involving Portland officers was March 4, 2013—when Santiago Cisneros III, a despondent Iraq war veteran, started firing a shotgun at two officers who'd planned to meet atop a parking garage in the Lloyd District. Copwatch says that stretch of time, one year and eight days, marks the city's second-longest stretch without a shooting in the 22 years it's been keeping records.