Man was unarmed when shot by police

Man was unarmed when shot by police »Play Video
The scene at the Sandy Terrace Apartments on Friday, Jan. 29, 2010.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Police shot and killed an unarmed 25-year-old man last Friday night because they said he was refusing to obey police orders and was an immediate danger to apartment residents, according to information released Tuesday by Portland police.
 
Police responded to the Sandy Terrace Apartments in the 12800 block of Northeast Sandy Boulevard just before 4:30 p.m. Friday in response to a 9-1-1 call from a person who said Aaron Marcell Campbell was suicidal and armed with a gun.

The caller, a friend of Campbell’s girlfriend, said Campbell wanted to die from police gunfire.

According to police, Campbell’s girlfriend came out of the apartment and said Campbell was upset that his brother, 23-year-old Timothy Douglass, had died earlier that day. She said three children, two, three, and five years of age, were inside the apartment.

Police communicated for about an hour with Campbell through text messages and at about 5:30 p.m. the children came out uninjured.

At 6:07 p.m. police said Campbell “unexpectedly” came out of the apartment with his hands on the back of his head.

According to a police report, at 6:08 p.m. police fired nonlethal beanbags at Campbell because he “began moving very quickly backwards and refused an officer’s commands to put his hands up in the air;” instead, he kept his hands on his head.

Police also said Campbell was yelling at them to shoot him. When Campbell started running back toward the apartment Officer Ronald Frashour, an eight-year veteran, fired a single shot from his AR-15 rifle that struck Campbell who fell behind a vehicle. Police said they couldn’t safely approach him until SERT officers arrived. When they did arrive they attempted to give Campbell medical care, but he was dead.

Police said there was no weapon found on Campbell or near his body, but they later found a handgun stashed in a closet near the front door of the apartment he’d been in earlier.

Police said in a press release Frashour’s decision to fire his rifle was made because he “was concerned about the safety of residents inside the apartments where Campbell was running toward, the safety of his fellow officers who were behind the apartments, and his own safety.” Police also said that after the beanbag rounds were fired at Campbell that he reached around to his waistband as he was running back toward the apartments.

Police said that Frashour believed Campbell was armed.
 
Two witnesses that KATU News interviewed the night of the incident said they believed Campbell was cooperating with police.

“He had his hands up, just like this,” said Kenny Boyer, who demonstrated by placing his hands on the back of his head. Boyer watched the entire incident unfold from his own apartment unit with his friend Robert Montgomery.

“He came completely out of the house with his hands on top of his head, backing up all the way from the aisle-way out towards the police cars,” Montgomery said. “He did say, ‘shoot me if you’re gonna shoot me - if you guys want to shoot me.’ But as everybody seen his hands were on top of his head.”

Boyer said after police shot Campbell with beanbag rounds, Campbell reached around where the rounds hit him.

“He was just doing that (reaching around) because the beanbag hurt,” said Boyer. “Then they shot him in the back.”

Police have not released where Frashour shot Campbell.

Officer Frashour was placed on paid administrative leave which is standard procedure.