It isn't unusual for 22-year Brooklyn neighborhood resident Darrell Satchell to walk from his house on S.E. 10th Avenue, down the hill toward a coffee shop on S.E. Powell Boulevard. But, he says he'll never forget his stroll for java on the morning of Sunday, March 6th.
'A little after 9 am, I was walking down for coffee,' Satchell told THE BEE. 'I was on the corner at S.E. 10th Avenue and Haig Street, I think - the street that goes by Brooklyn Park. Two police officers had parked there. They started walking up to a duplex.'
Thinking this unusual, Satchell stopped to watch, as the two officers approached the house. 'Another officer pulled up and parked. As the two officers walked up to the front door, there was a loud 'pop'. They started screaming gunshot! Gunshot!'
Asked what ran through his mind, Satchell replied, 'I knew it wasn't firecrackers because the officers were screaming 'gunshot! Gunshot!' We were ducking behind their police cars. It was more than a little scary.'
In the ten minutes it took him to finish going to get his coffee, Satchell said, 'tons of officers flooded into the neighborhood' and S.E. Milwaukee Avenue was blocked off as he walked home. 'Officers were telling us to get off the street near the park.'
Having witnessed the earlier gunshots, Satchell complied and headed south, toward S.E. Rhone Street. 'That's when all the shots rang out. There were a lot of shots - probably 10 or 14 shots.'
Now speaking with THE BEE while sitting on his front porch steps Satchell commented, 'It's usually a very quiet neighborhood, absolutely. This is the first time anything like this has happened, as far as I know.'
At noon, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) met with the media on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just south of S.E. Powell Boulevard. Both Portland Police Chief Michael Reese and Portland Mayor Sam Adams looked grim-faced as they lifted the yellow police tape line, and walked forward.
'Officers responded to a report that a man was despondent, and threatening suicide by pills,' Reese announced. 'Officers tried to call him on the telephone; there was no answer. As they knocked on the door, they were met with gunfire.'
At 9:22 am that morning, it was later revealed, PPB Officers Kofoed and Lowry, and Sergeant Hunt, were outside the front door when that single shot from a handgun ripped through the door. The bullet went through Kofoed's pant leg but did not strike him. Shrapnel from the door or the door frame hit Kofoed in the ballistic vest, and also struck Sergeant Hunt in the hand. Both officers were treated at the scene and released.
Officers on duty from all three Portland Precincts raced to the area, Reese told reporters, and took cover in Brooklyn Park, just down the hill from the embattled home. The Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) was activated, and the 'Mobile Precinct' rolled into the area and sets up a command center.
The subsequent volley of shots heard by Satchell occurred, according to police records, at 9:34 am.
'A responding officer from East Precinct was getting positioned to take cover; he was shot by the suspect - we believe, by a 'scoped' rifle,' reported Reese. 'Other officers had to put down suppressive cover fire at the house, and expose themselves to [gun] fire from the suspect, to rescue the wounded officer.'
The downed officer, Parik Singh, a 13-year-veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, was struck in the lower abdomen and was raced to Legacy Emanuel Hospital, underwent surgery, and is now recuperating at home, and is expected to make a full recovery.
'The hostage negotiation team was able to contact the suspect inside the location, engage him in conversation, and get him to put his weapons down,' Reese elaborated. 'Eventually, they talked him out.'
At 10:34 am, police arrested 61-year-old Ralph Clyde Turner and took him to a hospital for a medical evaluation on an unrelated health issue, before booking him into the Multnomah County Jail on counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder and other felonies.
Mayor Sam Adams commented, in a statement after the Chief's, 'There was a lot of heroism that went on here today, and a lot of good police work. I know all Portlanders are wishing the wounded officer a speedy recovery. All of our thoughts and prayers are with his officer and his family.'
According to PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson, the call that brought officers to the house in Brooklyn was placed by his fiancé, 55-year-old Mari Kennedy. 'She told the 9-1-1 call-taker that Turner was yelling that he didn't want to live, that he was alone at the location, and was threatening to hurt himself by taking pills. She said she was getting all the information second-hand from Turner's sister. She also said that there were guns stored in the garage, and it was unknown if Turner had them in his possession.'
The following day, Kennedy told the media that she remains concerned about Turner's mental health, and that she had previously asked that he undergo a psychiatric evaluation while he had been in a rehabilitation center. 'None of it was done. So, here we are today.'
Wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair on March 15, Turner had nothing additional to say as he pleaded 'not guilty' to an indictment listing one count of Assault in the First Degree, twelve counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder, and twelve counts of Unlawful Use of a Firearm. As this issue of THE BEE goes to press, he remains in custody.