A Hubbard-area man shot by police after a five-hour standoff was set to face an attempted murder charge Tuesday for allegedly pointing a gun at a deputy. But the charge was dropped after police could not find a weapon.
Authorities then canceled a court appearance scheduled for Paul Jeffrey Smith, 45, and he was released from the Clackamas County Jail.
“In the interest of justice, you can’t hold someone for long without arraigning them,” said Lt. James Rhodes, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “But I can say that while Mr. Smith was released from custody, this case is far from over, and we are continuing to investigate. At this point, we are considering a range of charges.”
Police were dispatched to Smith’s Hubbard-area house Sunday night after 9-1-1 calls saying Smith was heavily armed, suicidal and threatening to shoot other residents.
A SWAT team surrounded the house while hostage negotiators reached Smith by phone. “Mr. Smith told the negotiator he could see one of our officers and intended to shoot him,” Rhodes said.
So, when several deputies then spotted Smith at a second-story window, pointing what they believed to be a gun, one SWAT team member fired, hitting Smith in the arm. Smith retreated from the window and was taken into custody. After medical treatment, he was booked into the Clackamas County Jail.
Two subsequent searches of the house turned up no guns. Rhodes said it’s possible that the gun deputies saw was hidden very well or otherwise disposed of — or that Smith simulated pointing a gun. Detectives are re-interviewing residents of Smith’s house who told authorities that he was heavily armed. They also may seek another search warrant, Rhodes said.