Routine call finds a Pleasant Valley murder/suicide

UPDATED: Here’s why police locked down six blocks around the area of interest in this typically quiet outer East Portland neighborhood …

As afternoon turns to dusk, Portland Police Bureau officers begin sealing off blocks to investigate fatal shootings in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Neighbors were told to “shelter in place” on the evening of June 21 in the area surrounding the 8400 block of SE 138th Drive, in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood. That was after a bullet tore through the wall of one house, and struck a neighboring residence.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officers were dispatched at 6:51 p.m. for a “welfare check” on SE 138th Drive.

“Officers knocked on the door, and saw a subject down in the house; they forced entry and saw an injured woman on the [floor] in the residence,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Lieutenant Tina Jones.

“When officers heard what sounded like someone else in the residence ‘racking a firearm’ – a distinct sound that many firearms make when someone is making a firearm ready to shoot – they retreated out of the house to positions of safety, and called for assistance,” Jones reported.

Both East Precinct and SERT officers are called into the area after they find a deceased woman – and then  hear a gun being readied to fire.

While waiting for backup, one of the officers saw a man in the house with what appeared to be a firearm; a PPB sergeant summoned the Bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) to the scene.

“There was great concern for the safety of those in the residence, as well as the surrounding residential neighborhood,” Jones remarked, leading to a a “shelter in place order” while the SERT team made its way through the winding hilly neighborhood’s narrow streets.

“As SERT officers were getting positioned, some of them heard the sound of a single gunshot from within the residence,” Jones said.

After determining no one else was in the residence, officers begin to reopen the neighborhood.

The SERT officers used a robot to survey inside the home, and located an injured male, who was treated and transported to an area hospital. No other persons located in the house.

“This adult male was later pronounced deceased at the hospital; an adult female was located in the residence and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” added Jones.

“During the investigation, it was determined that a bullet traveled from the primary involved residence outward, striking a neighboring house. No one was determined to be injured as the result of this bullet,”

“No officers were injured, or fired their weapons during this incident,” Jones commented. “This is the 6th homicide in 10 days that Homicide investigators have responded to, in addition to other duties related to the nightly demonstrations downtown.”

Checking back with Portland Police at deadline, no further information was available. Officer Melissa Newhard responded to East Portland News, “We have no further information to release at this time.”

On July 1, the PPB released this statement:

The investigation into the deaths of two individuals in a residence has continued. The involved victims have been identified as follows with the associated cause/manner of death:

Eunice Castillo-Ross, Female, 02-19-51, Homicide/Gunshot wound
Eric A. Ackerman, Male, 12-30-56, Suicide/Gunshot Wound

Help is available for community members struggling from a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts. Suicide is preventable. The Multnomah County Mental Health Call Center is available 24 hours a day at 503-988-4888.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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