PORTLAND, Ore. – The man who was shot along Interstate 84 by Portland police on Monday had been suffering a paranoid delusion the day before and had broken both of his arms last week and removed the casts himself, Portland police said.
Police also said Denorris Laron McClendon was high on methamphetamine at the time of the shooting, and that the gun he was waving at passing drivers was a replica semiautomatic air pistol.
Police said McClendon’s grandmother called Sunday evening to say he was having a delusion in her backyard, where he’d been swinging a wooden dowel at her shrubbery for a good part of the day.
When they got there, she told them that he had broken both arms four days earlier, then removed the casts himself.
He agreed to be taken in for a mental-health evaluation, where he was placed on a police hold and received medical treatment.
Police also said 17-year veteran Michael Honl is the officer who shot McClendon. They said he’s scheduled to be interviewed on Wednesday, and that 10 other officers and several civilian witnesses have already been interviewed.
McClendon was arraigned in Multnomah County Court Tuesday afternoon wearing a suicide vest and casts on both arms. The court will determine whether he is a danger to himself or the public before deciding whether to set bail.
"He Wanted to Die"
Outside the courtroom, McClendon's grandmother, Johnetta Burkette, told KATU her grandson had just lost his mother and wanted to die.
"He had been up, hadn’t ate, hadn’t slept, and he gave up," Burkette said. "He gave up and that was his way of let me end it quick."
Burkette added that her grandson wasn't trying to hurt anybody on I-84, he simply wanted the police to shoot and kill him. She recalls what McClendon told her before he left their home Monday morning.
"He said goodbye to me. He said he wouldn’t trouble me anymore," Burkette said.
Burkette said she's grateful police only wounded her grandson.