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Police fatally shoot man outside apartment

Neighbors say Neil Bruce Marcy, 45, was a loner who 'got social' when he drank

A man alternately described by his neighbors as 'lonely,' 'sociable' and 'cantankerous' was shot and killed by police officers outside his Forest Grove apartment late Sunday night.

Neil Bruce Marcy, 45, died at the College Place Apartments, a quiet complex a few blocks east of Pacific University, after he confronted police with a gun in each hand. Officers responded with deadly force.

On Monday afternoon, a full dish of cat food remained outside Marcy's front door. Holes from a shotgun blast - perhaps the one that killed Marcy - were visible on the outside wall of an adjacent apartment.

According to Capt. Aaron Ashbaugh, Forest Grove police spokesman, officers were dispatched to the apartment complex at 2607 21st Ave. shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday. An anonymous 9-1-1 call, received about 10:50 p.m., had reported a shooting there, he said.

At about 11:35 p.m., police said, Marcy exited apartment No. 18 with a gun and fired a round into the air before returning inside. Officers from Forest Grove and Cornelius were on the scene at the time and in positions of cover, Ashbaugh said.

They tried to negotiate with Marcy, to no avail.

During the standoff, police said, Marcy made threats to the officers that he was going to start shooting. He also made statements 'indicating the officers were going to have to shoot him,' Ashbaugh said.

At about 11:50 p.m., Marcy emerged from the apartment again, armed with two pistols. He raised his weapons and officers fired, mortally wounding him, Ashbaugh said.

Marcy was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the shooting.

Police evacuate complex

Officers began knocking on doors at the complex around 11:30 p.m., intending to evacuate the other residents.

'I was asleep with the TV on, so I didn't hear any shots,' said Barbara Barker, 64, who has lived in apartment No. 12 since January. 'The policeman said to go back in and lock my door.'

Barker said most of the people who live at College Place are elderly, friendly and try to look out for one another.

'It's too bad, because I think there are a lot of people here who would have cared and tried to help,' Barker said of the Marcy shooting.

Doris Sohler, 86, who has lived at College Place for seven years, said nothing like Sunday's violence had happened before.

'I'm surprised,' she said. 'Around here things are usually so quiet.'

Neighbor Mary Ann MacDonald described the death of Marcy, who lived alone, as 'very sad' but not completely unexpected.

'As soon as I heard about it, I knew who it was,' said MacDonald, who described Marcy as 'a drinker' and a loner.

'He must've just been going crazy inside himself,' she said. 'I don't think he'd hurt anyone.'

'Made up his mind'

Steve Hart, who lives in apartment No. 6, directly across from Marcy, knew the gunman as 'someone who was tolerated much more than accepted' at the apartments.

Marcy was a hard drinker who 'was sociable enough when he had a few beers in him,' Hart said.

'He was more of a bore,' Hart added. 'He had intelligence, but he'd try to push things on you.'

Marcy had a sister who lived nearby and a teenage son, Hart said. Although he could be a surly character, Hart suspected that inside, Marcy was a tormented man.

'I'm sort of glad that he's out of his misery,' Hart said. 'But I never expected that he'd go this route.'

Hart said he had tried to befriend Marcy, who had lived at the apartments for about two years and was taking classes to become a machinist.

Marcy had 'made up his mind to die' Sunday night, Hart believes. Yet in the moments before he confronted police, Marcy also pleaded for the safety of Hart and his dog, Goofy.

'He yelled to the officers, 'Are Steve and Goofy clear? Are Steve and Goofy safe?',' Hart recalled, shaking his head.

Hart said he hid behind a fence during the face off and watched the events unfold. He heard Marcy shouting and watched him come out his door.

'He pointed a gun right at the officers,' Hart said. 'I heard him yell at them that he would kill them.'

One young woman at College Place, who did not want to be identified, decided to get away for a while, packing up some clothes for a stay at a friend's house. But most residents who lived near Marcy said they felt relatively secure at the apartment building.

'I'm staying,' said Barker. 'I like it here too much.'

Officers on paid leave

The Washington County Major Crimes Team is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

The three officers involved in the shooting - two from Forest Grove and one from Cornelius - are on paid leave, which is also standard procedure. The officers' names were not released pending completion of the investigation.