Grand jury clears officer who shot and killed man near Wilson High

Grand jury clears officer who shot and killed man near Wilson High
Kelly Vern Swoboda in a booking photo from November 2013.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Multnomah County grand jury has found that a Portland police officer was justified in shooting and killing a man who was wanted in a Milwaukie kidnapping and assault case.

Officer John Romero, an eight-year veteran assigned to the Youth Services Division, shot and killed 49-year-old Kelly Vern Swoboda near Wilson High School Wednesday, March 12.

Romero was wounded in return fire from Swoboda, police say.

Police say they were responding to reports of a suspicious man driving a van in the neighborhood when they confronted Swoboda.

Swoboda was wanted for kidnapping a woman from Palm Beach Tan in Milwaukie on Jan. 27, according to police. He threw her in his purple van and took off. Police say the woman fought back and jumped from the moving car. She suffered serious injuries.

U.S. Marshals joined the manhunt for Swoboda. He was considered armed and dangerous. Police were not sure where Swoboda was hiding because he did not have a known address.

Swoboda was charged in three bank robberies, according to court documents. The robberies occurred in November and December of 2013; two were in Milwaukie and the other happened in Portland.

Swoboda was also wanted for robbing a bank in Eugene, Ore., according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. He was convicted twice for bank robbery in 1994 and 2006 and once for a weapons violation in 1999. He was also convicted of probation violations.