Domestic dispute ends in tragedy near David Douglas High

While the incident didn’t disrupt the school’s football game, see why it frightened the folks heading home from Palermini Field …

A Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant blocks off SE 130th Avenue to traffic heading south from SE Stark Street, while Portland Police officers try to unravel a potentially deadly domestic dispute.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It was another exciting game night for the David Douglas High School Scots football team on the evening of October 21.

But, those cheering for the home team at Palermini Field didn’t know a life-and-death drama was unfolding at a modest home nearby on SE Salmon Street, just north of the Horner Performing Arts Center, off SE 130th Avenue. It was a little before 6:00 p.m.

Police officers move quickly to cordon off the area, and remove bystanders along SE 130th Avenue.

“Cops just told us someone nearby has a gun, and may be out in the neighborhood,” explained Brianna Anderson, as she and her friends tried to find her parents, while trying to get into the cordoned-off area.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers were mum about the unfolding situation, and looked grim-faced as they kept extending the parameter.

It wasn’t long until the officers of PPB’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Crisis Response Team arrived, and deployed officers around a house – in which, we were told, there had been a domestic dispute.

“Arriving officers learned that the suspect was the ex-boyfriend of a woman who lived at the residence,” PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson told us.

Officers from all over the city respond to a SERT callout page.
“Apparently, the suspect was despondent, and came to residence with gun threatening to kill the people in the house,” continued Simpson – that discovery activated the SERT team, per Police Bureau policy.

What officers and command staff then learned was that some people had fled the house after they heard two shots ring out from the garage.

Officers on-scene said they were holding a perimeter, in case the suspect had fled the property. “The suspect was armed and threatened to kill the people at the house,” Simpson reminded.
Consequently, as the game ended over at Palermini Field, there was a traffic jam of vehicles trying to get into the parking lot, and then leave it.

Finding SE 130th Avenue blocked comes as a surprise to parents who are trying to pick up their kids from the evening’s football game.

Later that evening, aided by a police robot, officers were able to see that the suspect was in the garage, and was suffering from a gunshot wound. “Officers were able to determine that in fact the man was deceased, as a result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Simpson continued.

The following day, the medical examiner concluded his investigation. “The subject committed suicide by firing shots, and has been identified as 43-year-old Joshua Stallings,” Simpson later told us.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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