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Grand jury clears officers

Deadly force was justified in arrest of armed suspect


A Multnomah County grand jury has cleared two Portland police officers of criminal charges in the shooting of an armed suspect on Sept. 29.

The suspect, Joshua Stephen Baker, with Attempted Murder with a Firearm, Assault in the First Degree with a Firearm, Felony Elude, Domestic Violence Assault in the Fourth Degree and two counts of Menacing in connection with his actions on that day.

Baker was also charged with Domestic Violence Strangulation, Assault in the Fourth Degree and Menacing in connection with incidents on July 1 and July 8 of this year.

The grand jury ruled that officers Erik Strohmeyer and Garry Britt were justified in using deadly force against Baker while trying to arrest him. Strohmeyer and Baker both fired shots at Baker after he fled the scene of a shooting. Details of his injuries have not been released.

According to police, Baker shot Vadim V. Kobenko during an incident at the Hathaway Apartments, 3320 Southeast 134th Ave. Kobenko was hospitalized with critical injuries.

Strohmeyer and Britt were chasing Baker when he crashed his truck. They fired at him as he ran from the vehicle. The Special Emergency Response team team was activated and arrested Baker. A gun was found at the scene.

An internal police investigation into the use of deadly force is underway.