UPDATE: Man in custody at 4:58 p.m. on NE Liberty – after throwing knives down on sidewalk.
Portland Police officers are attempting to talk with a man who is armed with knives and has said he wants to commit “suicide by cop,” according to police.
Police were called about 2:15 p.m. on a report of an armed suicidal man standing in the middle of the street in the area of Northeast 36th Avenue and Northeast Liberty Street, a press release said. The man remains “armed and noncompliant,” the police said.
The police response has blocked traffic in both directions on Northeast 33rd Avenue between Rosa Parks Way and Lombard Street. Faubion School is locked down at this time.
Portland police tactical officers from the Special Emergency Reaction Team were among the first on the scene because they were out on an unrelated operation in the area.
Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said he wasn’t sure who called 9-1-1, but police now have surrounded the man who is armed with two knives in the area of Northeast Liberty and 34th Avenue.
Crisis negotiators are trying to talk to him. Police are also sending in a robot to deliver a phone to him to assist in their communication.
“He is mobile. He is out on the street so he can move about,” Simpson said. “Our goal right now is keep him talking. Keeping him contained and make sure his escape avenues are limited.”
Update: The armed man is in the street on Northeast Liberty, just east of 33rd Avenue. Police have identified the man, and a family member is on the scene assisting officers trying to talk to the man.
So far, Simpson said the man has told officers “he wants police to kill him.”
Police want to remind residents in the area to stay in their homes with their doors locked.
Marsha Walker, who lives at Northeast 34th and Liberty, said police had knocked on her door and told her not to come out and to stay away from windows and keep her doors locked.
She said tactical officers are outside the house, but she said she was never told by police why she needed to stay at home.
Portland police are also starting to evacuate some residents in the neighborhood.