Portland officer did not shoot teen in back, medical examiner says

Candlelight vigil for Quanice Hayes

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by a Portland police officer in Northeast Portland on Thursday morning.

Police said the suspect was 17-year-old Quanice Derrick Hayes. He was armed with a replica handgun, police said.

Police say the officer who shot and killed Hayes fired three shots. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that state medical examiner Dr. Karen Gunson said Monday that despite social media posts from friends and family members claiming otherwise, Officer Andrew Hearst did not shoot Quanice Hayes in the back.

Gunson and Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson declined to describe where Hayes was hit by the officer's bullets other than to say it was not in the back.

On Saturday, leaders of Don't Shoot Portland held a press conference, calling for justice. 

"While many people are protesting Trump in Portland and around the country, many are overlooking the continuing local and statewide inaction on systemic racism, including incarceration and police terror," said Don't Shoot Portland leader Teressa Raiford.  

About 50 people attended a vigil Saturday evening in Northeast Portland, where the shooting took place. 

 

 

Officer Andrew Hearst is a seven-year veteran of the bureau. He is on paid administrative leave, which is standard police bureau procedure.

Raiford said the police department's "narrative omits any detail on why Andrew Hearst, who killed an unarmed mentally ill man in 2013, opened fire on a 17-year-old boy." 

Hearst was involved in another fatal shooting in 2013. He, another officer and a sergeant fired shots at Merle Hatch, a 50-year-old fugitive and career criminal wanted for a federal bank robbery charge. Hatch allegedly threatened and ran at police at a Portland hospital, holding a broken black telephone receiver that he pointed at the officers.

Hearst was 25 years old at the time and was a three-year veteran of the force. The police review board ruled the shooting justified. 

In a news conference Friday afternoon with Police Chief Mike Marshman, Mayor Ted Wheeler pledged for a thorough investigation into Hayes' shooting as well as a second one that happened later that Thursday.

Police shot and wounded a man in Southeast Portland after they received a report that someone was threatening suicide. That incident also involved a replica gun.

"The community is justifiably concerned," said Wheeler.

Teen shot after armed robbery

Hayes' shooting happened in the 8300 block of Northeast Hancock Street as police were searching for a suspect in an armed robbery that took place earlier Thursday morning.

A desk clerk at the Portland Value Inn on 1707 Northeast 82nd Avenue told KGW's Maggie Vespa that the suspect robbed a man sleeping in his car at about 7 a.m. She added the victim did not want to be identified. She knew him as a former, long-term guest of the motel. He began sleeping in his car a few days ago, explaining he could no longer afford to rent a room.

Police responded to the area around 7:30 a.m. and began looking for a man fitting the description of the gunman. The robbery victim said the suspect was a black man, wearing a dark hoodie and jeans.

“As officers were responding to that initial call and beginning that investigation, another call came in from the Banfield Pet Hospital … about a car prowl,” said Sgt. Pete Simpson, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau. “And the description was similar.”

During Thursday’s on-scene press briefing, Simpson said officers began searching the neighborhood “loosely” and spotted a man matching that description.

He said officers tried to talk to him, but the suspect ran away.

“That led to additional officers responding, along with a canine unit, and they began tightening up that neighborhood search for the suspect,” Simpson said.

Simpson said officers quickly came across a home that appeared to have been broken into. A police dog, with a camera attached to its collar, went in to clear the home. No one was inside.

“Some time later, around 9:21 (a.m.), officers encountered the suspect again. During that encounter, one officer fired shots that struck and killed the suspect,” Simpson said.

Simpson said it was unclear what exactly led up to the shooting. He said a handgun, which was a replica firearm, was found near Hayes' body.

Simpson said that the police bureau has many replica guns in its possession and that they can often closely resemble actual firearms.

Girlfriend: 'I'm still in shock' 

Hayes' girlfriend, Bella Aguilar, said she and Hayes had been staying nearby.

"We had gotten a hotel and I asked him to go to the store with my food stamp card to get me something to eat,” said Aguilar. “He never came back.”

Aguilar doesn't think Hayes was the suspect.

“I think he matched the description of whoever was doing all those things and they mistook him for someone else."    

Aguilar said she’s still in shock over losing Hayes and is anxious to hear more information about what led police to kill him.

“I want to know if the cop had a rightful reason to shoot him," she said. "If he didn't, I don't want him out here.”

People nearby were shaken up by the incident.

Cordell McKinley stays at the Portland Value Inn as well, and said a lot of people in the area suffer from addiction or other issues. He said he was sad to learn the suspect had died.

“Maybe he had a mental problem. Maybe there were personal issues,” he said. “They have less lethal weapons. They could have used less lethal weapons. They could have used rubber bullets. They could have used a taser. They could have used tactical maneuvers.”

Others nearby were glad police responded so quickly.

“It does seem like there’s an awful lot of excessive force being used lately,” said Rebecca Manzano, who lives in the area. “But at the same time, when you’re in the heat of the moment in a situation like that, and you’re an officer ... I don’t know. I think officers have been through an awful lot lately, and I’ve seen them actually do a really good job lately with the things I’ve seen around here.”

The Associated Press, KGW's Maggie Vespa and Katherine Cook contributed to this report.

(© 2017 KGW)


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