Grand jury rules police shooting of Portland man was justified

Grand jury rules police shooting of Portland man was justified

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Multnomah County grand jury ruled that the use of deadly force by four Portland police officers against a Portland man earlier this month was justified under criminal law.

On March 26, Jonah Aaron Potter, 31, confronted officers with a realistic-looking fake gun. Police ended up shooting Potter seven times as a result. The four involved officers -- Dennis Wilcox, Larry Winfield, Richard Storm and Tracy Chamberlin -- were put on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

The grand jury also charged Potter with four counts of menacing in connection with his actions on March 26 and two counts of second-degree robbery for an incident that took place a day earlier. 

The March 26 shooting happened Monday morning on S.E. 37th Avenue between Stark and Oak Street, near the tennis courts adjoining Laurelhurst Park.

Police said officers spotted a blue Honda Civic that they believed was connected to an armed robbery at Jae's Market on S.E. Belmont Street that had happened Sunday. The thief stole a couple hundred dollars, according to the store's owner.

Police found Potter asleep in the car. The four officers backed off and monitored the situation while they waited for a Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) to arrive, police said.

Before they arrived, Potter woke up and got out of the car with what looked like a handgun, police said. The four officers fired on Potter, secured the gun and began to give first aid.

Police said the officers fired a total of seven rounds.