UPDATE • Officers were supposed to use less-than-lethal beanbag
Portland police said officers apparently accidentally shot a man with a lethal shotgun round instead of a less-than-lethal beanbag Thursday morning.
The man, who has not yet been identified, is recovering in an area hospital. Police are investigating how the lethal round was used when police supposedly intended to shoot him with a less-than-lethal one. Police say he was hit with five pellets in the hip area.
The officer who fired the shot is a 15-year veteran. He is on paid administrative leave during an investigation into the shooting.
Both lethal and less-than-lethal rounds can be shot from the same shotguns. According to a Portland Police Bureau statement late Thursday afternoon, officers are supposed to visual inspect each round before they load. Lethal rounds are yellow and clear. Less-than-lethal rounds are red and blue.
Police Chief Mike Reese said the bureau's training protocols were designed to prevent this kind of accident.
'I have instructed supervisors to immediately remind every less lethal beanbag shotgun operator to visually inspect each round as they are loaded into the weapon and review less lethal beanbag shotgun training protocols,' Reese said.
Reports of intoxicated man
Police said the shooting occurred at about 9:55 a.m. after officers from the Central Precinct were called to Lair Hill Park, 3037 S.W. Second Ave., when children in a camp there had been approached by an intoxicated man reportedly armed with a knife.
When officers arrived, the man ran from the area. Neighbors said they saw four or five police officers chasing the man across Barbur Boulevard near the Caro Amico Italian Restaurant on Barbur Boulevard. The officers had their guns drawn during the chase, witnesses said.
One witness said the man was confronted by officers when he ran into a parking area that was blocked by high walls and blackberry bushes. A neighbor heard one gunshot. Others reported two or three shots being fired.
Members of the East County Major Crimes Team are investigating the shooting. Names of the officers involved in the shooting have not been released.
The shooting happened near the tunnel where Naito Parkway turns into Barbur Boulevard. The road was closed in both directions near Pennoyer Street through the afternoon.