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Shootings In & Around Oregon Make Headlines

In communities outside of Portland including to the north in Vancouver, WA, there have been a number of officer-involved shootings in the past several months, some of which raised a lot of eyebrows.

--McMinville: On March 31, Yamhill Officer Travis Van Cleave shot and wounded Bryan Christopher Mitchell, 29, after a car chase involving State Police and other agencies (Salem Statesman Journal, April 1).

--Gresham: On March 8, a Gresham officer shot out the back window of a car, missing the driver Richard Pierre Overton, 40. Overton, who allegedly had rammed a police car, was taken into custody the next day with the help of US Marshals (Oregonian, March 12).

--Silverton: On February 25, Marion County Deputy Ryan Postlewait and Oregon State Troopers Nicholas Rhoades and James Andrews shot and killed Jimmie Eugene Hickey, a 78 year old man who allegedly shot another person at an RV park, then "exchanged gunfire" with deputies. Keizer Police and Silverton Police were also on the scene (Oregonian, February 26 and 27).

--Salem: Salem Police Officer Bruce Fineranon shot and wounded Gabriel Diaz, 29 on January 23 after a pursuit (Salem News, January 23).

--Hillsboro: In one of the oddest stories we've ever covered, off-duty Hillsboro officer Timothy Patrick Cannon, 46, engaged in a gunfight with ten fellow officers from Hillsboro, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, and Forest Grove police on January 20. Cannon was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife (a Hillsboro police non-sworn employee), which turned into a standoff in which Cannon and the police fired through walls at one another, somehow managing not to harm Lisa Cannon or her 6 year old daughter. Timothy Cannon and one deputy were wounded. As a result of the incident, one quarter of Forest Grove's 20 officers were placed on leave (the five who fired their weapons), while four Washington County Deputies and Hillsboro officer Stephen Slade (who was involved in shooting Aldaberto Flores Haro in Portland last March--PPR #56) were also being investigated. Corporal Mark Trost, one of the Washington County Deputies, was also involved in a previous shooting in 2007 (Oregonian, January 22, 23 and 29).

--Hubbard: A Clackamas County Deputy SWAT team shot and wounded Paul Jeffrey Smith, 45, when they thought they saw him with a gun in a second story window during a hostage situation on January 13. Police did not find a gun upon searching Smith's apartment, so the charge against him regarding pointing a firearm at police was dropped (Oregonian, January 16).*

--Hermiston: Two Hermiston officers shot and killed Gregory Melvin Shafer, 55, a bank robbery suspect, who supposedly pointed a gun at them on December 31 (Oregonian, January 4).*

--Vancouver, WA (1): On January 25, Vancouver Police Corporal Marshall Henderson shot and killed 16 year old Douglas Combs with bullets fired at his back. Henderson claims the teenager, suspected of a home invasion, reached for a gun as he ran away (Oregonian, January 29).

--Vancouver, WA (2): On January 18, officers working on a US Marshals Fugitive Task Force shot and killed Jesse France, 29, who they say rammed an unmarked police car; France had an outstanding warrant (Oregonian, January 19 and 30). Vancouver Detective Spencer Harris was undercover; Washington Department of Corrections Officer Brian Ford and US Deputy Marshal Vincent Byford were also involved (Columbian, January 21 and February 1; Oregonian, March 26).

*Officers' names not found or released

  People's Police Report

May, 2013
Also in PPR #59

Police Shoot Two More People
  In Mental Health Crisis

Community Given Seat At Table
  As DOJ Agreement Moves Forward

Other Shootings in Oregon
FBI Entrapped Teen Convicted
CRC Reviews Three Cases
Second Terrorism Report Falls Short
Developments Favor Copwatchers
PPB Director Resigns After Scandal
CPRC Gets into the Community
Reckless Cop Costs City $61,000
Not Shaking Hands With Cops
Exclusive PPB Training Meetings
  • Pervocop Demoted
  • More Buisness Alliance Vs. Homeless
  • Community Action Causes Sheriff to Change
Quick Flashes
  • Video Proves Police Reports Wrong
  • PPB Officer Accused of Harrasment
  • Deputy Sued for Harrassment
  • Cop Reinstated on Technicality
Rapping Back #59

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

People's Police Report #59 Table of Contents
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