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  • 16 Sep 2014

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Man shot by police had a fake handgun

UPDATE • Grand jury will hear evidence about the incident
by: Courtesy of PPB Bradley Lee Morgan

The 21-year-old man shot to death early Wednesday morning in a downtown parking garage was holding a fake handgun that he used to threaten two police officers.

Police said 21-year-old Bradley Lee Morgan of Portland died from a single gunshot wound, according to the state medical examiner. When his body was recovered, police said he was still holding a replica handgun.

The incident began at about 3:17 a.m. when a 9-1-1 call came in from a man who said he was on top of a nine-story building and planned to jump to his death. The man told emergency dispatchers that he had committed a robbery at knifepoint in downtown Portland. The man told dispatchers that he could see Pioneer Square from his location.

The city's Bureau of Emergency Communications determined that the man was on top of a parking structure. Police searching for the man found him on the top floor of a parking garage at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Morrison Street.

The man told emergency dispatchers that he who mentioned shooting someone. When asked if he had a gun, the man told dispatchers 'possibly.'

At 3:35 a.m., police Sgt. John Holbrook, a 15-year bureau veteran, and officer David Scott, a nine-year bureau veteran, found the man and, after waiting for other officers to arrive, began talking with him at about 3:40 a.m. A sergeant and a patrol officer talked to the man and called for the city's Crisis Negotiation Team to help.

About 20 minutes later, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a handgun, pointing it at the officers. Both the sergeant and the officer fired shots at the man. He fell out of sight. The man was standing on top of an elevated roof on the southwest corner of the parking structure, surrounded by a low wall preventing a full view of the rooftop.

The officers called for the city's Special Emergency Reaction Team. With help from Portland Fire and Rescue and the Metropolitan Explosives Disposal Unit, SERT officers were able to safely approach the man using ladders and special equipment.

At about 5:30 a.m., a Portland Fire and Rescue medic assigned to SERT determined that the man was dead. SERT officers said the man was holding a black handgun that turned out to be a fake.

Portland Police Bureau detectives and the East County Major Crimes Team are investigating the shooting.

Holbrook and Scott are assigned to Central Precinct.

Both have been placed on paid leave, which is standard bureau policy.

Information about the shooting is being presented to a Multnomah County grand jury, which also is standard procedure.