Hazelwood neighbors puzzle over double shooting

We may never know why the husband shot his wife of many years – and then himself. Learn the outcome of this tragic event here …

Police closed off SE 135th Avenue, from SE Main Street north to David Douglas High School, while they investigated the double shooting the left a man dead.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Neighbors of Bobby and John Clayton said they were puzzled and saddened to learn that a double shooting at their home – in the 1100 block of SE 135th Avenue, just south of David Douglas High School – had left her wounded and him dead on May 2.

While officials still say little about the case, we headed toward the scene listening to events unfold on emergency services channels.

One of the messages relayed was that, seven minutes before the shooting call came in to the emergency 911 Center, a woman, 42-year-old Bobby Clayton reportedly called her father in Vancouver, WA. The message relayed to officers on scene was she told her dad that there was a domestic dispute taking place, and that she was “being held hostage”. Her father told the calltaker that he was concerned and was on his way.

The report of a shooting brought out a large police response to this otherwise quiet street.

At 8:58 a.m., “911 operators received a call from a woman saying she was inside the house and had been shot by her husband,” reported Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Det. Mary Wheat. “When officers arrived, they went inside the house to rescue the woman. Once inside, they assisted the woman and found one deceased male who had shot himself.”

Officials later identified the deceased person as 45-year-old John David Clayton, Bobby Clayton’s husband. “It appears that John Clayton shot his wife and then shot himself,” confirmed Wheat.

Although Bobby Clayton was reportedly shot three times – in the shoulder, arm and hip, all on her left side – paramedics called OHSU Hospital saying that she was alert and conscious, and able to talk with them. “She is expected to survive,” Wheat added.

Officers and detectives compare notes after investigating a scene where they say the husband turned the gun on himself, after he had shot and wounded his wife.

As Multnomah County Animal Control arrived to take charge of the couple’s two dogs, neighbors shook their heads in dismay. “They’ve lived here since the 1980s and seemed like nice people,” said a resident who declined to identify himself. We noted a white van with a Medeco High Security Locks logo on the door. “He worked for a security firm,” confirmed the neighbor.

Another neighbor added, “This is so unusual for this neighborhood. Things are pretty quiet around here.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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