BEAVERTON, Ore. – Police said the 18-year-old man who wrestled a gun away from an officer at Beaverton City Hall and fired off a shot last week was high on mushrooms and had “superhuman strength.”
Jared Steven Leone walked into Beaverton City Hall on Friday evening and told a person at the police department's records desk that he was overdosing on drugs and needed help. Three officers came out to the lobby and that's when police said Leone swung a punch at one of the officers and a “melee” ensued.
Detective Sergeant Jim Shumway reviewed surveillance video of the fight. He said it took the officers six minutes to restrain Leone and take him into custody.
“At some point, they did get him handcuffed,” said Shumway. “He broke those handcuffs.”
Leone grabbed a gun from one of the officers and fired a single shot during the fight. No one was hit. The bullet went into a wall with an empty room on the other side.
“They did all they could to retrain him as soon as they could,” Shumway said. “He had what appears to be superhuman strength.”
The officers used Tasers on Leone seven times during the fight, but they had no effect. Shumway said Leone appeared to be unable to feel pain. He was speaking gibberish and acting like he was on drugs.
“Somebody could have been killed from this. This could have been a real tragedy,” Shumway said.
One officer involved in the struggle suffered a shoulder injury and was taken to the hospital.
Leone faces charges including assaulting a public safety officer, unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest. Police took Leone to the Washington County Jail.
Leone is from the Seattle area, but he graduated from Vernonia High School, Shumway said.
Bruce McCain, a former Multnomah County Sheriff's captain, told KATU News that a big concern is about the officer's holster.
"The whole idea is if you're in a scuffle, you cannot pull this gun out – even if you popped the top, this does not come out," he said, demonstrating on his old holster with an unloaded Glock. (watch the video)
He says holsters are typically designed with three security mechanisms to keep anyone from grabbing the gun.
The Beaverton sergeant's holster may have had only two safety features because his gun may have had a flashlight on it.
Reporter Erica Nochlin contributed to this report.