Homeless out-of-towner brandishes knife; shot by officer

See how, in seconds, a “burglary call” turned into a deadly “officer-involved shooting” in Mill Park …

Police officers, detectives, and criminalists tape off a large section of SE Sherman Street, as they investigate an officer-involved shooting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers, dispatched to a “Burglary in Progress” call on the late afternoon of March 22 – at an outer East Portland duplex in the 2300 block of SE Sherman Street, a couple blocks north of SE Division Street – had no idea a situation involving feuding neighbors, and a homeless man armed with a double-bladed knife, would so quickly escalate.

The 9-1-1 Center dispatcher informed them, by radio at 5:26 p.m., that the resident of that address was attempting to hold down a burglar. When they pulled up at 5:31 p.m., they found the neighbor, later identified as Jean Paul Kodegui, attempting to restrain the subject.

Shortly after a man reportedly goes after a neighbor, and police officers, with a knife, he was shot in this street.

This is the knife that a homeless man allegedly brandished, as officers tried to take him into custody.

“As the officers approached the subject, he advanced toward them with a double-bladed knife, 10 inches in length, in a weaving, figure-eight motion,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Greg Stewart.

“The subject got very close to one of the officers, a six-year veteran, who then fired two rounds, striking the suspect,” Stewart continued. “The subject remained on his feet and the other officer, a nine-year veteran, re-holstered his weapon and deployed a Taser.”

These items, in the street, mark where the confrontation ended.

The suspect collapsed in the middle of SE Sherman Street. “An ambulance immediately responded and transported him to a local hospital, where he later died,” Stewart said.

Although the entire incident took place in just moments, officials are still at work unraveling the story behind the incident.

Reports disagree about the burglary call, for example. One report is that the suspect was breaking into a neighbor’s truck; another claims he was trying to break into the side door of the neighbor’s duplex.

The Portland Police Mobile Precinct, and cars driven by responding officers and detectives, block SE 130th Avenue while the investigation gets underway.

No reason that 36-year-old Christopher Ryan Healy would attack officers has been revealed. PPB photo

Who died is now known: 36-year-old Christopher Ryan Healy, a homeless man, originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. Duplex neighbor Tera Harris told reporters that her daughter met Healy on the streets of Seattle, and invited him to visit them in Portland.

Harris recalled how Healy took a shower that afternoon, and went outside to wait for a ride downtown.

Although she conceded that she didn’t witness the events that preceded the shots, Harris proclaimed, “We didn’t hear the police say anything like, ‘Stop; you’re under arrest’. We didn’t hear anything, until we heard gunshots.”

Detectives begin interviewing witnesses, and those connected with the incident.

“Following the [review by the] Multnomah County Grand Jury, the Bureau will release additional information,” Stewart said.

Detectives are still actively interviewing those involved, and are asking that anyone with information about this incident contact Detective Kristina Coffey at 503-823-0696 or Detective Mark Sponhauer 503-823-0416.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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