Fairview shooting goes to grand jury this week
A Multnomah County grand jury will hear testimony this week to determine if two Fairview police officers were at fault in the shooting of Larry Maurice Wesley McKinney, a 37-year-old man shot by police during a confrontation Friday night, Jan. 27.
Deputy District Attorney Christine Mascal said most police officer-involved shootings go before a seven-member grand jury, as per policy, to see if there should be an indictment. She said everyone who has information about the shooting, including the police officers and McKinney's family, has been asked to testify.
Mascal said Fairview police requested that the grand jury's hearing, which is closed to the public, be recorded and made public afterward. If the court approves the request, it will be posted on the district attorney office's website, she said.
Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson and Fairview Mayor Mike Weatherby said they will talk to the media at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at Fairview City Hall if the grand jury issues its ruling by then.
Accounts of McKinney's shooting - the first officer-involved shooting in the Fairview Police Department's history - have differed between police and McKinney's family.
Fairview police responded at 11:47 p.m. Jan. 27 to a 9-1-1 call from McKinney's mother, Sandra Kelley, who wanted police to remove the intoxicated McKinney from her second-floor apartment at the Wood Creek Apartments in the 20300 block of Northeast Halsey Street.
Fairview police said McKinney was brandishing a large knife when he attacked Officer Joe Kaiser, one of the two police officers who responded to the call. Officer Mike Morton then fired three shots at McKinney, who died in the doorway of his mother's apartment.
McKinney's mother and his uncle, Gerald Kelley, dispute the officers' version of events.
Sandra Kelley said she was standing behind the officers at the bottom of the stairs to her apartment when McKinney emerged from the apartment, carrying a kitchen knife. She said she and the officers asked McKinney to drop the knife, but the officers started shooting a few seconds later before McKinney had time to respond.
Morton and Kaiser were placed on administrative leave following the shooting.
The case was turned over to the East County Major Crimes Team, which consists of members of the Gresham, Fairview and Troutdale police, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and the Multnomah County district attorney's office.