Threats of violence lead to shooting death at Hazelwood apartment house

See what kind of weapon police say a man brandished that caused both his neighbors – and police – concern …

Eastbound E. Burnside Street, and part of SE 122nd Avenue, is shut down for hours while police investigate the officer-related shooting that took place at the apartment building near the corner – seen here in the background.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Just before 3:00 a.m. on December 17, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers responded to a call about one resident threatening another apartment dweller at the Ventura Park Apartments, located 12110 East Burnside Street.

Officers entered the building – it faces the MAX line, and is sits just west of the Union 76 gas station on SE 122nd Avenue – to calm the squabble between neighbors in the apartment house.

“One resident of the complex,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson, “said that earlier in the evening, he went to give out candy in the apartment complex, and was now being threatened by a drunk male in another unit. Officers spoke with that person, who was described as ‘uncooperative’. Officers cleared the call at approximately 3:13 a.m.”

Police also shut down SE Ankeny Street while the investigation continues.

But, apparently, the trouble wasn’t over.

About a half hour later, officers called back to the apartment house, Simpson continued. The person who called 9-1-1 said someone was threatening to shoot him and was armed with a handgun. The caller told the 9-1-1 operator that the man showed him a gun – saying it appeared to be a 9mm handgun – and was told “not to mess with his friends.”
”Officers arrived and went to the apartment door to make contact with the suspect,” Simpson added. “Within seconds, the officers broadcast that shots had been fired and that the suspect had pointed a gun at the officers. The shooting happened at the threshold of the apartment door.”

A resident of the building told said publicly he heard more a dozen shots, and counted as many as 16 shell casings in the building’s second-floor hallway.

Anyone who drives or takes the Eastside MAX line has seen the Ventura Park Apartments building – where a person say a man threatened to shoot him with a handgun in the middle of the night.

The officers then lost sight of the suspect.

As is their policy, police command staff called for backup from the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT).

But, officers and sergeants at the scene continued to develop a plan to safely approach the suspect and render medical aid as well as evacuate other occupants of the unit. Two adult females, an adult male and a toddler were moved to safety.

Using the Portland Police Bureau Mobile Precinct as their headquarters, detectives and officers investigate the result of the “disturbance call” that ended with a man’s death.

Before the SERT members arrived, officers felt they could safely approach suspect.

“Officers and medical personnel determined that the suspect was deceased,” Simpson said. “He has been identified as 45-year-old Darryel Dwayne Ferguson, a resident of the apartment complex.”

Police say a realistic replica handgun, similar to this one, could have been the weapon brandished to intimidate other apartment house residents.

What police found in the apartment unit, Simpson later said, was a realistic replica handgun – a “Colt Defender” tear gas pistol. “It looks and feels like a real firearm.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday, December 18 at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.

”The officers involved are both four-year veterans assigned to East Precinct,” reported Simpson. “Portland Police Homicide Detectives are working in coordination with members of the Multnomah County Major Crimes Team, with the assistance of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, to conduct the investigation.”

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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