PORTLAND -- A Portland Police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after he shot a 17-year-old suspect in the thigh on Tuesday, said Sergeant Pete Simpson.
Police said the teen was armed with two handguns and refusing their commands when officers fired a less lethal bean bag round, as well as one lethal round.
“Based on the investigation, he was struck one time by a bullet. We believe that’s from the officer that fired a single shot. There’s no indication that the suspect shot himself, although we did recover two firearms that were loaded after we arrested him,” Simpson said.
The teen was taken to the hospital and later transferred to Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center on allegations of unlawful use of a firearm.
Police came across the teen Tuesday while conducting surveillance on an apartment in southeast Portland in connection with a separate, federal gun case, police said.
At some point officers said they witnessed the teen walk outside with a handgun before he got into a car with three people and left, according to police.
The surveillance team called for officers to conduct a high risk traffic stop, which they did at southeast 153rd Avenue and Division Street. But, sergeant Simpson says the suspect refused their commands and took off running into a nearby neighborhood.
At some point officers fired at the teen, wounding him, police said. Wednesday, police identified the officer who fired at the suspect as Officer Gregory Moore. Moore has been on the force since March of 2011 and is nearing completion of his 18-month-long training phase, police said.
The officer is now on paid leave, as per standard procedure, while the use of force is investigated.
The 17 –year-old suspect was found hiding in a nearby yard, and police said officers also recovered two loaded handguns which they believe he discarded while running from officers.
The guns marked the 5th and 6th firearms seized in two days by the bureau’s Gun Task Force.
Since its inception in 2010 the unit, comprised of one sergeant and four officers has taken 153 handguns off the street, as well as 102 rifle or shotguns, according to numbers released by the bureau.
”One of the things we want to know too, is how does a 17-year-old get his hands on, not just one gun, but two guns?” Sgt. Simpson said. “Are they stolen? Did somebody give them to him? ”