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Portland transit officer shoots, kills man near SE 92nd and Flavel Street

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Mike Marshman at the scene of a deadly officer-involved shooting Wednesday night, May 10, 2017 near Southeast 92nd Avenue and Flavel Street. The man in the white shirt is Wheeler's spokesman, Michael Cox. (KATU Photo)

A Portland Police Bureau transit officer shot and killed a man reported to be in his 20s Wednesday night, according to police.

The incident happened near Southeast 92nd Avenue and Flavel Street at about 7 p.m.

Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said right now they had little information about the suspect.

He said police responded to a disturbance call at the Transit Center. A 911 caller reported that the man was threatening people at the TriMet Flavel Transit Station. Officers ended up chasing the suspect over a bridge spanning Johnson Creek on the north side of Flavel Street. The man was shot on or near the MAX tracks.

It is unknown at this time if the man was armed with any kind of weapon.

Simpson said it is unknown right now why the officers were chasing the man. The transit officer was the only one who fired.

"I don’t have any information yet on exactly what led to that shooting. Again, we’re very early in the investigation," he said. "As part of the course of the investigation, officers that are involved and/or witnesses will be interviewed and offered the opportunity to talk about what happened."

Steven Alexander, who lives in a nearby apartment complex, told KATU he saw the officer shoot the man.

He said his nephew ran into the apartment and told him a kid who lives in the complex was being robbed at the Transit Center. Alexander decided to help. When he got to the transit center, he said he saw a transit police officer talking to a man who was acting weirdly and not responding to any of the officer's questions or demands. Alexander tried to help the officer by corralling the man.

But the man bolted. Alexander said he tried to give chase but couldn't go far because he has a hurt leg.

"I get up to the tracks and the officer’s running down the tracks, and then I see boom, boom," Alexander said. "This is so flippin' unreal for me. I just witnessed something I don’t ever want to witness again."

He said the neighbor who the man was allegedly trying to rob told him the suspect had a knife.

Alexander's account has not been confirmed by police.

He said police detained him for a while until they could sort things out.

Simpson said the officers rendered medical aid to the suspect but couldn't save him.

No officers were injured.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Mike Marshman were at the scene.

The Transit Police Division contains several police agencies. Simpson said the transit officer's partner is a deputy with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

TriMet reports that the MAX Green line is disrupted due to the police activity. Shuttle buses are serving stations between Main Street and Clackamas Transit Center. Riders should expect delays.

Simpson said the MAX line will likely be down for the rest of the night.

The investigation is ongoing.

The officer who shot the suspect will be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.


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