Portland Police Shootings Down to Zero
While there has been an unusual and welcome 4-1/2 month period without a single Portland police shooting, other towns in Oregon have racked up several incidents.
On May 12, Coos Bay police killed Steven Lile Garner, 34, a suspect in a bank robbery, who was unarmed. Garner was allegedly trying to flee from police when they came looking for him at Southwestern Oregon Community College. Detective Hugo Hetzel claims Garner made threatening gestures, so he fired his gun four times, hitting Garner twice in the chest.
The Oregonian (May 14) says this was the first officer-involved shooting in the tiny coastal town since 1988.
On July 7, Hillsboro police shot and wounded a Michael Mullins, 47, who had crashed into his former employer with a truck, then began walking down a residential street with a shotgun. Lt. Chris Skinner, spokes-person for the Hillsboro police, told the Oregonian that the man did not fire his gun (July 8). Witnesses say the man smashed into two trucks and then pinned the business owner against one of them. He survived with a leg injury.
On June 16, Astoria police shot and killed Douglas Pollock, Jr, 21, who was on his roof, cutting electrical wires. The police arrived and Pollock's mother urged them not to shoot him, because he was a paranoid schizophrenic and was not violent. Police may or may not have also had a "beanbag" lead- pellet shotgun. The Oregonian reported on June 18 that the Clatsop County District Attorney thought this was the first police shooting in Astoria in 50 years.
Shootings in Salem, OR and Vancouver, WA occurred in the first week of August as we were going to press.
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