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Portland police disperse crowd with pepper spray after officer fatally shoots suspect

Police in Portland, Oregon, said they used pepper spray and smoke canisters to break up a crowd that gathered on Friday as they investigated the fatal shooti...

Posted: Apr 17, 2021 11:05 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2021 11:45 AM

Police in Portland, Oregon, said they used pepper spray and smoke canisters to break up a crowd that gathered on Friday as they investigated the fatal shooting of a suspect by police in Lents Park.

A suspect who has only been described as a White male was fatally shot Friday morning by an officer responding to a report that a man was pointing a gun in the park, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a news release.

The PPB says lethal force was used after 'less lethal' rounds were attempted, the news release said. Officers provided emergency medical aid, but the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.

While the shooting was being investigated, a crowd gathered Friday and began yelling at officers, the PPB said.

'The hostile crowd estimated to be over 100 people tore down crime-scene police tape and encroached on the work area,' the Portland Police Bureau said in a press release Friday evening.

Protesters hit officers with sticks and water bottles as they left the park, the PPB said.

According to the department, no chemical munitions were used against the crowd, but they did employ a 'Rubber Ball Distraction Device.'

No officers were injured, and at the time no arrests were made.

As the evening continued, a riot was declared by police and several protesters were arrested, as the PPB said individuals were seen participating in 'criminal activity' and breaking windows.

'Participants in the riot have been seen attempting to burglarize businesses,' the PPB said as officials warned those participating to leave the area or face arrest. Police claim a 'hostile crowd' was surrounding them at one point.

Portland Fire & Rescue was called to extinguish at least two fires that had been set along SW 4th Avenue, the police said.

Police on Saturday identified the officer who shot the suspect as Zachary Delong, an eight-year veteran of the force.

Delong will be placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed by the police and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, police said.

As in cities across the country, protests erupted in Portland late last spring over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and expanded to include demands for police accountability and prosecutorial reform in the cases of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and other Black victims.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released a statement Friday encouraging everyone to 'proceed with empathy and peace.'

'These shootings always are traumatic for everyone involved and for our community, regardless of the circumstances. I want to offer my sympathy to the individual involved and to their family. My thoughts also are with the officers who were involved,' Wheeler said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 189162

Reported Deaths: 2514
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37544577
Washington25097229
Marion21585304
Clackamas16908209
Lane12676145
Jackson10649132
Deschutes846573
Umatilla812184
Linn473067
Yamhill436875
Klamath421861
Polk367852
Malheur349061
Josephine329068
Douglas320570
Benton300019
Jefferson215033
Coos204232
Columbia168526
Union143923
Lincoln136720
Wasco136428
Hood River117430
Morrow109815
Crook104520
Clatsop9668
Baker93814
Curry6409
Tillamook6323
Grant5014
Lake4437
Harney3338
Wallowa1805
Sherman581
Gilliam571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3753173

Reported Deaths: 62154
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123474623977
Riverside2988724576
San Bernardino2963244677
San Diego2773233716
Orange2705694992
Santa Clara1186982084
Kern1088871367
Sacramento1040581670
Fresno1014911680
Alameda874071541
Ventura808121011
San Joaquin727841384
Contra Costa68279803
Stanislaus617761053
Tulare49514837
Monterey43506381
San Mateo41755567
San Francisco36577543
Santa Barbara34261453
Solano32698249
Merced31701454
Sonoma29951318
Imperial28295720
Kings22933246
Placer22532290
San Luis Obispo21243260
Madera16423242
Santa Cruz16062207
Marin14009228
Yolo13846209
Shasta12042226
Butte11907198
El Dorado10073111
Napa983381
Sutter9398111
Yuba621344
San Benito604663
Lassen569624
Tehama554558
Nevada467175
Tuolumne411564
Mendocino405948
Humboldt391539
Amador365047
Lake345843
Glenn238025
Colusa222416
Siskiyou215122
Calaveras211153
Inyo142538
Del Norte13637
Mono12794
Plumas7046
Modoc4944
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned450
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