11/20/2014

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Man shot and killed outside hospital had been in ER

Man shot and killed outside hospital had been in ER

PORTLAND, Ore. – A man shot by police in a parking lot at a local hospital after he wouldn't put down his gun was a patient at that facility, hospital officials said Tuesday.

The shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. Sunday in the employee parking lot at Portland Adventist Medical Center at 10123 S.E. Market Street.

Hospital officials said the man had been in the Emergency Room of the hospital before the shooting. No other details were released.

"I heard like a bunch of it (gunfire) go off at once, so we're talking maybe nine shots," said Marcus Beck, who lives nearby.

The man who was shot died after being shot at by three police officers, police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said. The man has not yet been identified pending notification of next of kin and an autopsy.

Responding officers were told the man was a hospital patient armed with a black handgun and that he had pointed the gun at a hospital security vehicle.

As some officers worked to lock down the hospital, others approached the suspect in the employee parking lot on the east side of the building.

The officers gave the man commands, but at some point the situation escalated and the three officers fired shots, killing the suspect, Simpson said.

Officers used a ballistic shield to approach the man and treat him, but medical responders pronounced him dead at the scene. No officers were hurt.

Police have not said if the man fired his weapon at officers.

Police did call Project Respond (a mobile crisis team of mental health experts) to the scene but Simpson said everything happened so fast that there wasn't really anything they could do.

"There was really no time for anything like that - very little communication, if you will," Simpson said. "The situation developed quickly. We don't know yet enough about this person to know what the situation was - does he have a history, was he in crisis or was there some other reason why he was there."

Hospital spokeswoman Judy Leach said the hospital has policies in place to protect patients and staff during an incident like this. The hospital refers to the lockdown as 'code silver.'

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales was at the hospital Sunday evening after he was contacted by police about what was happening. The mayor's spokesperson, Dana Haynes, said Hales cannot comment until the investigation is concluded.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday and police said they would likely have more details about the incident by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the officers involved in the shooting (who worked at the East Precinct) will stay on administrative leave during an investigation of the shooting, as is standard procedure. They have been identified as:

  • Sgt. Nathan Voeller, a 12-year veteran
  • Officer Andrew Hearst, a 3-year veteran
  • Officer Royce Curtiss, a 7-year veteran
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