Man wanted by FBI dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound

We don’t know why the FBI asked Portland’s cops to serve a search and arrest warrant on the Powellhurst-Gilbert man. For whatever reason, this wanted man would not be taken alive …

For the third time this week, the Portland Police Bureau’s Mobile Precinct was out on a mission – this time parked a block from Gilbert Heights Elementary School at 12839 SE Holgate Blvd. – as police investigate a FBI warrant service that ended in the death of the wanted man.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Perhaps we’ll never know why the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) Gang Unit was out serving a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) search and arrest warrant in Powellhurst-Gilbert, just a block away from Gilbert Heights Elementary School.

“Due to the nature of the investigation, a federal judge has sealed much of the information in this case,” said FBI spokesperson Beth Anne Steele.

What we do know, is that just before 6:00 a.m., the Gang Unit rolled up to a fenced yard at 12612 SE Holgate Blvd.

Police say they were trying to serve a FBI warrant on this man, 43-year-old Derek J. Coady, when the confrontation turned deadly.

“While clearing (searching) an outbuilding on the property, officers encountered the suspect, wanted in connection with the warrant, 43-year-old Derek J. Coady,” PPB spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz reported. “Coady was armed with a handgun.”

For hours, outer SE Holgate Blvd. was closed and Gilbert Heights Elementary School was in lockdown while the SERT team moved in and detectives processed the scene.

Wanted man refuses to surrender
Officers attempted to talk to Coady, Schmautz continued, and told him to put down his gun.

Instead of complying, Coady began playing hide-and-seek, ducking behind a vehicle parked on the property.

“This which would have provided him with a vantage point to possibly shoot at officers” said Schmautz. “An police officer discharged at least one round from his firearm. A short time later, officers heard a gunshot from the area where Coady was hiding.”

Not taking any chances, the bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) was activated. They cautiously moved up to the wanted man’s last known position, and discovered Coady, deceased, Schmautz went on.

Because a federal judge “sealed” information in this case – we may never know what prompted this arrest.

Wound self-inflicted
While some media outlets speculated that police officers shot Coady, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner concluded that Coady died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

“The death has been ruled a suicide,” confirmed Schmautz. “Coady was not hit by the officer’s bullet(s).

This investigation is continuing.

Detectives and SERT members looked weary due to the many call-outs this week.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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