Deadly shooting in Wilkes said to be self-defense

Neighbors wondered why the step-son, reported to be the shooter, isn’t in jail. Apparently, there’s good reason, according to the District Attorney’s office …

The Portland Police Bureau’s Mobile Precinct rolls again, this time while detectives investigate a deadly shooing in the Wilkes Neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When there was commotion at a new housing development in the Wilkes Neighborhood on November 9, a little before 11:30 p.m., neighbors were concerned.

Then, when shots rang out in the townhome near the corner of NE 149th Avenue and NE Sandy Boulevard, they knew there was serious trouble.

NE 149th Avenue is sealed off while the shooting investigation continues into the daylight hours.

“Arriving officers located a 48-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound,” reported Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Lt. Robert King. “Officers immediately called for medical assistance to treat the injured man. The man was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.”

The following day, King stated that the shooting victim had expired, and an autopsy conducted by the Oregon State Medical Examiner identified 48- year-old Michael Earl Ford as the victim.

Officials gather evidence at the scene of this family ruckus gone bad.

“The death occurred during a domestic violence incident between a stepfather and stepson,” King said.

But, the stepson wasn’t arrested; and members of the family, who apparently had been home at the time, cooperated with investigators.

The following afternoon, next door neighbor Jamie Johnson showed television reporters bullet holes inside her home. She said she’d attended school with the stepson – and although she’d heard arguing that night – was surprised at the outcome of the fracas.

An investigator heads back into scene of the shooting to continue his investigation.

On November 10, court records indicate that, as Ford was shot during a fight with his stepson, the stepdad had been using a wooden ax handle to attack the young man, described as being in his 20s.

Because the shooting appeared to be a justifiable use of deadly force, Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Underhill declined to press charges, but the matter will be reviewed by a grand jury.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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