Man commits suicide after shooting at officers following traffic stop near Barrydale Park

A shooting at Barrydale Park is being investigated by Portland police. July 10, 2024 (KOIN).

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police say a man died after shooting himself after he allegedly eluded a traffic stop then shot at officers in Southeast Portland Wednesday afternoon.

At Barrdale Park around 5 p.m., a massive presence of police cars could be seen with several blocks of road blocked off amid the investigation. A neighbor told KOIN 6 News she heard gunshots and tires screeching on the road earlier in the afternoon.

According to Sgt. Kevin Allen, a Portland Police Bureau spokesperson, the incident that culminated in shots fired began as a traffic stop around 3:42 p.m.

“Two officers working a partner car assigned to the traffic division initiated a traffic stop in the area of Southeast 86th and Yamhill Street. The driver of the car that they were trying to stop did not yield and took off at a high rate of speed,” Allen said.

The two officers didn’t pursue the eluding vehicle but rather went up a couple of blocks to Southeast 88th Avenue. From there, they saw the suspect vehicle parked on the curb line. They then saw the suspect leave the car.

“At that time, the officers got out and challenged the suspect,” Allen said. “And he started to run and then turned around and fired shots at the officers.”

The officers did not fire back and they were not injured, Allen said. However, they did radio for additional resources. Police said the suspect continued to run and then allegedly fired shots in the neighborhood.

A gun recovered by police after a man allegedly shot at officers then shot and killed himself near Barrdale Park. July 10, 2024 (courtesy Portland Police Bureau).

At one point, the suspect allegedly fired shots “at an additional victim who was driving past him as he attempted to flee,” police later said in a release. The woman driver wasn’t hurt.

“The suspect went into Berrydale Park, in the middle of the park, where he fired one more shot at himself and was injured,” Allen said. “The officers immediately called for medical assistance and went up and performed a rescue on the suspect. He was transported to a hospital by an ambulance where he later died.”

Police said no officers or community members were hurt.

Since the crime scene unfolded over multiple block, Allen said investigators had to lock off large chunks of the neighborhood, closing down the roads from Southeast 92nd Avenue to Southeast 88th Avenue and from Southeast Clay Street to Southeast Taylor Street.

“The officers are all OK. Community members are all OK,” Allen said. “But because this is a situation where we have a suspect who used deadly force against the police, the detective division responded to the scene.”

As of Wednesday evening, Allen said the scene was still being actively investigated as detectives searched for evidence, witnesses and video or “any information that will help us piece together what all happened here.”

“But I can say, the danger has passed,” Allen said. He added no one was hurt besides the suspect.

While Allen called the incident “super alarming,” he said incidents like this are relatively rare.

Police said that while officers do have the legal right to defend themselves with return fire when they are being shot at, the officer chose not to in this case due to other considerations.

“We don’t ever want to shoot and have someone else get injured, or make a greater danger to the community,” Allen said.

The neighbor who said she heard the gunshots and tires squealing told KOIN 6 News she’s never seen something like this.

“I have no trouble. I play Pokémon Go and I walk around all the time,” Diane said.

However, a father and son in the area said they’re not surprised by this kind of activity.

Police said they are waiting on information about the suspect’s identity and that they won’t release any names until the family is notified. They also said it’s currently unknown whether the suspect was wanted for other crimes or what the initial reason was for the traffic stop.

PPB Chief Bob Day released the following statement about the incident:

“This incident illustrates that there is no such thing as a routine stop or routine call. While I grieve the loss of life, I’m relieved to know that the officers are not physically hurt, nor were the community members in the area of the suspect when he chose fire shots in a neighborhood.”

This is a developing story. KOIN 6 News will update this article if more information becomes available.

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