Update, 4:50 pm:
According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), officers have concluded their crime scene investigation at Lents Park and have left the area. There are still few answers coming from PPB regarding the deceased victim’s identity, the actions leading up to his killing, and whether he was carrying a gun.
Demonstrators have remained at the park throughout the afternoon, with some briefly blocking the intersection of SE Holgate and 92nd Ave. to protest the shooting. Several people in the crowd threw water bottles and sticks at heavily-armored riot police as they departed. Per the PPB’s latest press release, officers “deployed inert smoke canisters in an attempt to help [riot police] leave.” PPB also claims someone deflated the tires of one police vehicle at the scene. No one was arrested.
Protests are expected to continue into Friday evening at Lents Park. Follow the Mercury on Twitter for on-the-ground updates starting around 7 pm.
Update, 1:40 pm:
The Portland Police Bureau has issued a press release recapping what they previously revealed in this afternoon's press conference (see below) about the fatal police shooting this morning in Lents Park. The one significant piece of new information involved the officer who fatally shot the deceased. From the PPB press release:
The involved Bureau member is an 8-year veteran assigned to East Precinct. The member’s name will be released tomorrow, as per Bureau policy. The involved officer will remain on paid administrative leave until the completion of the Bureau, East County Major Crimes Team, and Multnomah County District Attorney Office's investigation.
While the press release clarified that one officer used fatal force, two other officers had also fired "less-lethal" 40 mm rounds at the victim.
Update, 1 pm:
Mayor Ted Wheeler shared the following statement with media:
"These shootings always are traumatic for everyone involved and for our community, regardless of the circumstances.
I want to offer my sympathy to the individual involved and to their family. My thoughts also are with the officers who were involved.
I visited the scene this morning to show respect for the individual, their family, the officers, and our community. I received a preliminary briefing and will continue to receive updates as information becomes available.
I recognize why people are concerned and possibly angry. While our understanding of this incident evolves, I urge everyone to proceed with empathy and peace."
Update, 12:45 pm:
PPB Acting Chief Chris Davis provided scant details of the shooting at a 12:30 pm press conference.
Davis did confirm that the victim of the police shooting died, and that he was a white man who was reported to have been holding a gun. However, he could not provide the man's identity or other information about him.
Davis said that "both less-lethal and lethal force were deployed by the officers" who responded to the scene. When asked whether the man was pointing a gun at officers before being shot, Davis did not comment. Davis also could not respond to questions about how many shots were fired by police, whether multiple officers used lethal force, or whether police recovered the gun the man was allegedly holding before being killed.
There are not other known injuries to community members or police officers, Davis said.
Protesters have been gathering near Lents Park following the shooting, and a high number of police officers have also appeared, some of them in riot gear. Davis said PPB "had to summon just about every police officer in Multnomah County" to police the protesters. He added that the public "can expect significant delays" on police calls today, because of how the bureau chose to allocate all its resources to policing the protest.
PPB Chief Chuck Lovell is currently on vacation, and Davis said he had not had a chance to speak with Lovell yet.
Update, 12:25 pm:
The Portland Police Bureau is holding a press conference to address the shooting at 12:30 pm. You can watch it here when it starts:
Update, 12:05 pm:
A witness on the scene has provided more details about the alleged victim and the circumstances surrounding the case:
...and then he head two gunshots. Chavez did not see a gun in the man’s hand. But was also pretty far away from the incident.
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) April 16, 2021
Chavez said he wasn't close enough to tell whether the alleged victim was carrying a gun. He said the man looked to be in his 30s.
As the crowd of protesters and onlookers continues to grow near Lents Park, more police officers have shown up as well—including some wearing riot gear.
Update, 11:45 am:
Mayor Ted Wheeler was identified at Lents Park before departing. A body is lying covered, in plain view, behind the police line at the park.
There’s a body on the grass behind police lines unmoving and covered. Not taking a photo, but it’s shockingly visible.
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) April 16, 2021
A Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officer shot a person in Lents Park on Friday morning.
Early reports indicate that PPB officers responded to reports of a man with a gun in the park, and shot and killed the man near the park's baseball field fence after arriving on the scene—however, PPB has yet to confirm the victim's identity or said whether they had been killed. The Oregonian is reporting that the victim was a white man in his 30s.
Sgt. Kevin Allen, a PPB spokesperson, told the Mercury that police got a call from a community member at 9:30 am Friday, asking for a police dispatch to the park because of an incident involving a weapon. Allen said no officers were injured, and was unsure whether any park rangers were on the scene.
Police have blocked entry into Lents Park in Southeast Portland and are currently questioning witnesses. Protesters have already begun gathering near the scene. Drivers near the park have been yelling out their windows for police to "stop killing people."
“We want people to be aware that we’re preceding cautiously with this investigation," Allen said. "These are issues of utmost concern.”
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.