Portland police say the man killed by an officer Wednesday evening threatened him with a utility knife before being shot.
The suspect is identified as Terrell Kyreem Johnson, 24. Police say he has no fixed address and a family member has an active restraining/protective against him.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Thursday and determined that Johnson died of multiple gunshot wounds. Toxicology results are pending examination.
According to police, Johnson was shot by Samson Ajir, an eight-year-veteran of the bureau assigned to the Transit Police Division. At the time of the shooting, he was partnering with his brother, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Deputy AJ Ajir.
Police say detectives conducting the investigation into the incident have learned that Johnson was acting erratically and threatening people at the Flavel Street Transit Station, which prompted a 9-1-1 call for police. The caller described Johnson as a white male, provided a clothing description, and a description of Johnson's behavior to the call-taker with the Bureau of Emergency Communications.
The first officer to arrive at the scene was Jacob Howell of the West Linn Police Department, whio is assigned to the Transit Police Division. Howell was in the early stages of his investigation and speaking with Johnson, who was non-compliant and would not sit down. As Officer Ajir and Deputy Ajir arrived, Johnson ran from them, first westbound on Flavel then back eastbound, before running northbound on the MAX bridge over Johnson Creek.
According to police, Officer Ajir was in close proximity to Johnson when he displayed a utility knife, prompting Officer Ajir to fire his handgun multiple times, striking Johnson. After Johnson was down on the ground, additional officers arrived and approached Johnson with a shield for officer safety, then began rendering immediate medical aid until paramedics arrived.
Paramedics determined that Johnson was deceased. A utility knife was recovered from the scene.
None of the law enforcement agencies directly involved in this incident are using body cameras at this time.
This investigation is continuing and no additional details are expected to be released until after the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office presents the case to a grand jury, which is standard procedure. Grand jury testimony is generally recorded in officer-involved shooting investigations, with transcripts being provided to the public in a timely manner.
Officer Ajir has been placed on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of the grand jury, which is standard procedure in such cases. Deputy Ajir and Officer Howell have been placed on paid administrative leave for three days, as is standard protocol with their respective agencies.
The Johnson family has asked for privacy, police say. According to police, the family says Johnson has been struggling with drug addiction that they believe may have affected his mental health. Johnson has no mental health history on file with the Portland Police Bureau.
Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman and Mayor Ted Wheeler responded to the scene on Wednesday evening in additon to representatives of the Office of Independent Police Review, the Professional Standards Division, the Training Division, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, the Forensic Evidence Division, TriMet, and various partner agencies included in the Transit Police Division.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family and the families of Officer and Deputy Ajir during this difficult time," says Chief Mike Marshman. "This is not the outcome anyone desires and it's distressing for all involved. We remain committed to full transparency and upon completion of the grand jury, we will ensure the entire investigation is released in a timely manner."
"I have been in regular communication with Chief Marshman about these events, and we agree that information should be provided to the public in a timely and transparent manner," says Mayor Wheeler. "As facts become available, we must acknowledge that this is a difficult time for the Johnson family and for the officers involved. My thoughts are with them."
Police say that, as part of the use of force review process, the bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board, which is comprised of community members, bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division.
Once the entire investigation and legal process is complete, the investigative files and any grand jury transcripts will be posted on the Bureau's Open Data page and can be found here: www.portlandoregon.gov/police/52175.