PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland police officer shot and killed a carjacker who allegedly shot and injured a person during a carjacking attempt on Interstate 5 on Monday morning. The carjacking suspect was fatally shot near Rosa Parks way.
In a Tuesday morning press release, Portland police identified the officer who shot the carjacker as John Hughes, a 17-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau. The suspect has not yet been identified.
Hughes will be interviewed within 48 hours of the incident and will be placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed, police said.
I-5 was shut down in both directions near Lombard Street for hours but reopened by 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
Portland police said officers responded to a home invasion call around 9:30 a.m. near Northeast Grant Place and 32nd Avenue where the suspect allegedly stole a car. The suspect was gone when officers arrived and according to police, the suspect proceeded to commit multiple carjackings across North Portland over the next hour.
According to the Oregonian, police received a report a short time later that shots had been fired about two miles away from the home invasion, outside the Hyatt Regency in the Lloyd District. Officers were told the suspect ditched the first stolen car and carjacked a second car at gunpoint.
Just before 10 a.m., the suspect entered the northbound lanes of I-5 near Rosa Parks Way driving the wrong direction. According to the Oregonian, the suspect crashed the car, got out and attempted another carjacking on the freeway. During the attempted carjacking, the suspect fired a gun, injuring one occupant of the vehicle, police said. The victim was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.
Following that shooting, a Portland police officer shot and killed the suspect, PPB reported. The Oregonian reported that a source familiar with the investigation said multiple officers fired shots on the freeway. 911 call records show at one point there were nearly 40 police and medical units on scene.
Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell were on scene Monday afternoon, according to a tweet from Chief Lovell. The following day, Lovell released a statement via email that read:
Yesterday, a suspect began a series of dangerous acts of violence toward members of our community. Ultimately, this resulted in an officer-involved shooting on the I-5 freeway.
Our Detectives are still seeking anyone who has information about the actions of this suspect prior to the shooting, or witnesses to the shooting, to come forward as we piece together a detailed timeline. While we understand members of the community are shocked and saddened by what occurred yesterday, we must balance the need for transparency with the responsibility to provide accurate information, while protecting the integrity of the investigation. We hope to release additional information following the officer's interview.
The last few days have been particularly violent, with shootings, four homicides, one fatal crash and an officer-involved shooting and all of the crimes prior to it. We know our community is concerned about the rise in violence and we are doing our best to respond and investigate these crimes. I know this violence causes trauma for our whole community, including our first responders. I want to commend the tremendous work by PPB members who respond to violent scenes and do their jobs with the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, and compassion, despite the toll it takes on them. And I also want to assure the community that we’re working hard to ensure Portland remains a vibrant and safe place for everyone.
Wheeler took to Twitter to thank PPB officers for their work.
In a 12:26 p.m. tweet, PPB said that because so many resources were being used to investigate the crime, officers were currently responding only to Priority 1 (a life may be in immediate danger) and Priority 2 (potential for physical injury or major property crime) calls. Police said response times could be delayed for certain calls.
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