A dog who injured one man and was reportedly menacing others was shot by police this morning, the second use of deadly force by the Portland Police Bureau in as many days.
According to a sort of confusing release from the bureau, cops responded just after 8 am to a report that a white pit bull was "jumping at the door of a neighborhood residence" and had chased a woman onto a truck. When police arrived, the dog was both "attacking children at a bus stop and was biting a woman protecting her son," the release says, though it adds that neither the children nor woman was injured.
"As the officer approached the dog, it let go of the woman's leg and charged at the officer who fired a single shot striking and injuring the dog."
The dog was taken into county custody, and one man was treated for injuries to the shin.
Yesterday's officer-involved shooting was far more consequential. As Doug noted in Good Morning, News, police say they responded to the MAX green line stop at Southeast Flavel Street because of a report a man in his 20s was threatening people there. Police say the man fled, but that at some point there was "an encounter" that led one officer to shoot and kill the man.
No information has been released about whether the suspect was armed, what the encounter was, or what led the man to flee from police.
Update, 3:19 pm:
Police now say the man killed yesterday was Terrell K. Johnson, a homeless man who allegedly had a box cutter when he was shot.
According to a press release sent out this afternoon, the officer who shot Johnson multiple times is named Samson Ajir, an eight-year member of the police bureau. Ajir is on leave, but at the time of the shooting was a member of the Transit Police, a division which involves officers from a variety of law enforcement departments in the area. Police say he was actually parterning with his own brother—Ali Ajir, a Clackamas County deputy—at the time of the shooting.
The latest narrative isn't much different from the first. Police were responding to a report of a man threatening people at the MAX stop. A West Linn Transit Officer named Jacob Howell arrived first. Police say Johnson wouldn't sit down and fled when the two Ajirs got there. The police gave chase.
"Officer Ajir was in close proximity to Johnson when Johnson displayed a utility knife prompting Officer Ajir to fire his handgun multiple times, striking Johnson," the release says. Police approached Johnson with a shield and began first aid, but the man died.
Notably, the release says Johnson's family told cops he struggled with addiction (recent court records say he used meth and alcohol), and that drug use "may have affected his mental health." That's an important point, because the city's currently laboring under a settlement with the US Department of Justice centering on its use of force against people struggling with mental illness.
"Johnson has no mental health history on file with the Portland Police Bureau," the release says.
The incident that led to his death was Johnson's second run-in with police in recent weeks. He'd been accused of stealing a bicycle in late April, in the only criminal accusation that shows up for him in Oregon courts. A report issued before Johnson was released from jail suggests he'd been "transient for the past month," because of a falling out with (and protective order from) his mother.
Officer Ajir doesn't appear to have any past shootings on his record. Records show he was among the cops who responded to the 2010 incident in which a homeless man named Jack Dale Collins was fatally shot by police at Hoyt Arboretum. Ajir didn't have a role in that shooting, though.
The events of today and yesterday technically mark the third and fourth officer-involved shootings of the year for PPB (the bureau tracks shootings of people and animals differently). The most contentious by far was the killing of 17-year-old Quanice Hayes.