A photo in this story clearly shows why officers considered this youth a threat, and chased him down in outer East Portland’s Centennial Neighborhood …
SE Division Street is shut down – for most of the afternoon of July 17 – while officers investigate what led up to a gun-carrying teen being wounded by police.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A teenager’s bravado, illustrated by his pulling a handgun and pointing it around a Centennial Neighborhood apartment complex, led to his being shot by police and hunted down a few minutes later on July 17.
Members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Gun Task Force and Gang Enforcement Team weren’t even looking for the 17 year old – they were there to serve a federal search warrant at 646 Southeast 148th Avenue, Apartment #39, said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson.
Officers and investigators try to piece together what happened during a traffic stop that ended in a shooting.
Undercover officers were surprised to see a young man armed with a handgun.
“Investigators observed him ‘showing it off’ to others, then saw him get into a blue Honda two-door, along with three other people,” Simpson added.
While not crystal clear, this image, taken by a police investigator, plainly shows the teen flashing a handgun. (Faces were blocked by police) PPB investigation image
Perhaps not believing what he was seeing, an investigator took out his smart phone and took a snapshot of the young gunman.
Instead of trying to take the gun-toting teen down, investigators called for backup, and kept an eye on the blue Honda hatchback coupe as it drove off.
PPB East Precinct officers rolled in from their districts to make a “high-risk traffic stop” of the Honda as it pulled into driveway of a mid-County apartment complex at 15301 SE Division Street.
An officer looks over the Honda coupe that police had followed, and eventually stopped.
The driver, Kristi Kirkpatrick, and front seat passenger James Crowell, exited the vehicle, followed commands, and were taken into custody – but were not arrested or booked into jail.
A third person in the car, Dadeffo Gebeyessa, was bitten by a police K-9 on the wrist prior to being taken into custody, but was later released.
One of the passengers in the car – he was NOT later arrested nor jailed – is taken into custody.
But the fourth person in the car, the 17-year-old armed suspect, refused to follow officers’ commands to stop.
“It just looked like cops – a lot of cops – stopping a car for some reason,” witness Sidney Moyer told East Portland News. “When the kid started running, [officers] were screaming ‘Stop! Stop!’ and I heard two shots go off. But, the kid didn’t stop; he kept running, out into the neighborhood.”
The armed suspect was shot with one round from a less-lethal beanbag shotgun, and then hit by one round from another officer’s firearm, stated Simpson.
PB East Precinct Captain Mark Kruger squints looking into the hot sun and Commander Mike Lee for a detective — they’re just two of the many police personnel called to the scene.
The suspect headed north, along streets and through yards, for nearly ten blocks until he was tracked down with the help of a K-9 team – found in the yard of a home at 1933 SE 149th Avenue.
“It was pretty scary; they tackled him in the street here,” neighbor Angela Emerson told reporters. When they had him down, officers read the suspect his rights, she added.
“The suspect is suffering from a non-life-threatening injury,” Sgt. Simpson later said. “It was determined by hospital staff to be a gunshot wound to his right thigh. Investigators believe that this gunshot wound is the result of the officer’s shot, not a self-inflicted injury.”
At the scene on SE Division Street. PPB Chief Michael Reese gets a report from an investigator and his command staff.
“The Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team and Gun Task Force are continuing to actively investigate gang and gun crimes in the City of Portland, including the illegal possession of firearms by juveniles,” Simpson concluded.
“Anyone with information about gang and/or illegal gun crimes in the City of Portland is encouraged to provide information to the Portland Police Bureau.”
Throughout the afternoon, and into the early evening hours, police investigators remain on-scene on SE Division Street.
© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News