Intoxicated man fires gun into bedroom ceiling

Reportedly intoxicated man fires off gun Monday morning

Gresham police are investigating a shooting that occurred early Monday, June 20, involving an intoxicated man.

The case began when a neighbor called 9-1-1 at 6:39 a.m. to report a hysterical woman coming out of a house at 1535 N.W. Wallula Ave. The woman - later identified as Suzette Blethen - was bleeding from the head and seemed to be saying someone had been shot, said Sgt. Wally Coon, a Gresham police spokesman.

While the neighbor was on the phone with emergency dispatchers, a man - later identified as Nicholas Russell, 36 - came outside. Then the man and woman went back inside the house.

When Gresham police arrived, the two were once again outside. Russell reportedly told police there were two men inside the house. Officers searched the house, finding no intruders, while the woman was taken to a hospital via ambulance for treatment of at least two cuts on her face that required medical attention.

Although the details are fuzzy, as Russell was intoxicated when he talked to police, Coon said the engaged couple was drinking the night before at a downtown Gresham bar and continued drinking at home after the bar closed.

Russell also reportedly told police he invited several bar patrons to continue drinking at his home, although none were there when police arrived Monday morning, Coon said.

While drinking, Russell reportedly passed out and woke to hear his fiancee screaming. Despite being intoxicated, Russell grabbed a loaded gun and fired a round into his bedroom ceiling, Coon said.

Blethen reportedly told police she was injured when she tripped over one of their three dogs and hit her head on an unknown object.

Police have interviewed Russell, who has not been charged with a crime.

Coon said the couple's home is in a quiet neighborhood where 'you don't expect to see drunk people firing off rounds in their home at 6:30 in the morning.'

Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call the Gresham police tipline at 503-618-2719.