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'Shocking and reprehensible': Portland police decry violence directed at officers in recent days

PPB said a suspect rammed into two police vehicles early Tuesday morning, nearly hitting an officer. Two similar incidents happened over the weekend.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Debris still strewn across the ground at the corner of North Fessenden Street and Columbia Way is a sign of the chaos that played out there early Tuesday morning.

"It's pretty frustrating, I'll tell you that," said Kevin Rawlins.

Rawlins lives in The Melrose Apartments in St. Johns. He heard some of the commotion that started around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.

KGW has learned at least two people called 911 to report gunfire in the area around that time. Responding officers located a suspect in a truck. Detectives say that the person sped off — hitting two police cruisers and almost striking an officer. The officer fired at the suspect.

RELATED: Officer fires at shooting suspect in North Portland

"I heard two shots," Rawlins said. "Real quick in a row and then car tires squealing."

Police later identified the officer who fired as Kyle Roush, who has been with the Portland Police Bureau for five years.

"No officers were injured, thank goodness," said Officer Derek Carmon with PPB.

Carmon said it is unclear if the man driving the truck got hurt because he managed to get away.

"It's beginning to get frustrating for the officers and hopefully members of the community are getting frustrated, as well," Carmon said, referring to the violence that continues to plague Portland.

Over the weekend, a police officer was badly hurt and hospitalized after being run over by a suspect in a stolen vehicle investigation. Hours before that, two officers fought with a domestic violence suspect. Video of the encounter shows the suspect pull a gun and perhaps fire a shot. That prompted one officer to open fire, killing the man.

RELATED: Police union president reacts to weekend violence that included deadly police shooting

"Any one of these incidents pushes us to a breaking point — any one of them, and we have multiple," said Sgt. Aaron Schmautz.

In addition to being a PPB officer, Sgt. Schmautz is the president of the officers' union, the Portland Police Association. He said his members are humans who work tirelessly to make the city safer, but more and more they are met with resistance.

"There's a huge disrespect for the rule of law born out of this rise in criminal violence in Portland, and you see that in people resisting more and people being willing to fight more," Sgt. Schmautz said.

He thinks what happened Tuesday morning in North Portland is proof of that.

"It's terrible," Rawlins said. "It gets worse and worse every year. When I first moved here it wasn't nearly this bad, and then now it's declining a lot."

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell released a statement calling the events of the past few days "shocking and reprehensible." He said his officers deserve and need support from the community.

Anyone with information about the man involved in Tuesday morning's police shooting is urged to contact the Portland Police Bureau.

RELATED: Witness captures video of fatal police shooting in SE Portland

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