What happened to Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, 22, of Fairview, was shot and killed by Gresham Police officers Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson on May 24 as they responded to reports of domestic violence.

KGW.com, May 26, 2016

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Press release: Domestic violence suspect shot by officers

Gresham Police Department, FlashAlert.net, May 24, 2016

An early morning domestic violence incident between a man and woman culminated in an officer-involved shooting in the 18700 block of SE Grant St. The male suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

At 3:05 a.m. multiple witnesses called 911 to report an active, physical assault involving a man and woman. The first calls originated near the 800 block of SE 190th Ave., with reports that a woman was screaming for help and being forced into a vehicle against her will.

Minutes later, additional witnesses reported seeing the woman screaming and “banging” from inside the car in the 18900 block of SE Grant St., a cul-de-sac approximately 14 blocks south of the original calls.

Two officers located the couple and confronted the 22-year-old suspect. The man was in the roadway when he was shot.

No officers were injured and the current condition of the female victim is not known. No names are being released at this time.

Detectives assigned to Multnomah County’s Major Crimes Team are leading the investigation with the assistance of Portland Police. Per normal protocol, all officers directly involved in the incident have been placed on leave during the initial phases of the investigation.

The roadway surrounding the incident is expected to be closed until later this afternoon.

Detectives are hoping to talk with anyone who has information about this shooting and can be reached by calling the Gresham Police tip line at 503.618.2719.

No more information is available at this time.

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Police identify Fairview officers involved in fatal shooting

Portland Tribune, May 24, 2016

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps

Gresham Police identified the two seasoned officers involved in Tuesday’s fatal shooting of domestic violence suspect Bodhi Phelps as Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson.

Early Tuesday, May 24, officers responded to multiple calls from two Gresham locations about a woman screaming for help and being taken into a car against her will.

During the incident, officers allegedly shot and killed 22 year-old Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview.

Sasser has been with Gresham Police Department since August 2008. Carlson began his law enforcement career with the Oregon City Police Department more than four and a half years ago. He has lived in Gresham since August 2015.

Neighbors around the 800 block of Southeast 190th Avenue alerted police about 3 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, about the domestic violence incident. They were worried about a woman screaming for help and being forced into a vehicle against her will, the announcement said.

Callers told police they were watching a man, later identified as Phelps, push a 25-year-old woman into a silver four-door sedan. Phelps allegedly drove away with the woman before police arrived, Gresham Police said.

About six minutes later, other witnesses began calling and said they saw a woman screaming and banging from the inside of the car stopped on the side of the road near the 18900 block of Southeast Grant Street, about 14 blocks south of the location of the original calls.

The woman inside the vehicle called 911, reporting she had been assaulted by Phelps who was then outside the car.

Officers raced to the scene, arriving within about two minutes. Phelps, who is described as approximately 6-feet-2 and 195 pounds, allegedly ran from the officers and ignored their orders to stop, the police announcement said.

The two Gresham officers chased and confronted Phelps who then allegedly brandished two knives. Witnesses interviewed by police reported hearing numerous commands to “drop the knife” followed by gunshots.

Phelps died on scene. Tuesday afternoon, the state’s medical examiner confirmed Phelps died as a result of gunfire.

No officers were injured and the condition of the female has not been released.

At the time of his death, Phelps was wanted for three Multnomah County warrants: violation of probation for identity theft, violation of probation for possession of heroin, and a nationwide felony warrant for possession of heroin, the police announcement said.

The investigation is ongoing and will include a grand jury hearing. The names of the other people involved will be released at a later date.

Detectives assigned to Multnomah County’s Major Crimes Team want to talk with any witnesses who have not already come forward. They can be reached by calling the police tip line at 503-618-2719.

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Press release: Man killed in domestic violence incident identified

Gresham Police Department, FlashAlert.net, May 25, 2016

The 22-year-old man shot by police during yesterday’s early morning domestic violence incident is identified as Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview. Yesterday afternoon, the state’s medical examiner confirmed Phelps died as a result of gunfire.

At 3:05 a.m. on May 24, police officers responded to the 800 block of SE 190th Ave. on what amounts to reports of a man assaulting and kidnapping a woman. Multiple witnesses called 911 while hearing the woman screaming, seeing the assault and watching the suspect, Phelps, force a 25-year-old woman into a silver 4-door sedan against her will. Phelps drove away with the victim before police arrived.

According to call records, approximately six minutes later witnesses in the 18900 block of SE Grant St. observed a woman screaming and banging from inside a silver car that was stopped on the side of the road. An update was given that the victim was also calling 911, reporting she had been assaulted by Phelps who was then outside the car. The woman believed Phelps had multiple felony warrants for his arrest.

Officers arrived within approximately two minutes, as witnesses reported Phelps was trying to get back into the car where the victim was. Phelps, who was approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and 195 pounds, ran from the officers and ignored orders to stop. The two officers gave chase and confronted Phelps who then brandished two knives. Witnesses reported hearing numerous commands to “drop the knife” followed by gunshots.

At the time of his death, Phelps was wanted for three Multnomah County warrants: violation of probation for identity theft, violation of probation for possession of heroin, and a nationwide felony warrant for possession of heroin.

The investigation is ongoing and will include a grand jury hearing. The names of the other parties involved will be released at a later date.

Detectives assigned to Multnomah County’s Major Crimes Team want to talk with any witnesses who have not already come forward. They can be reached by calling the police tip line at 503.618.2719.

No more information is available at this time.

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Man killed by Gresham PD ‘recruiter in theft ring’

KOIN 6 News, May 25, 2016

Scene of shooting in Gresham

Scene of shooting in Gresham

The man shot and killed by Gresham police Tuesday morning had three outstanding warrants for his arrest and was considered a recruiter in a theft ring, KOIN 6 News has learned.

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, 22, was shot and killed after police responded to reports of an “active” domestic violence situation near the intersection of 187th and Grant.The first calls for help originated near the 800 block of SE 190th Avenue with reports that a woman was screaming for help and being forced into a vehicle against her will, according to police. Minutes later, witnesses reported seeing the woman screaming and “banging” from inside the car in the 18900 block of SE Grant Street, police said.

Gresham police said two of their officers located Phelps and confronted him. Phelps brandished 2 knives and police commanded him to “drop the knife,” officials said.

Phelps was in the roadway when he was shot, police said.

In Oct. 2014, Phelps was convicted of one count of ID theft. He was sentenced to probation and two days in jail.

In Feb. 2015, Phelps was convicted of attempting to unlawfully possess heroin. He received probation.

KOIN 6 News reported in 2013 that Phelps was considered a top lieutenant and was accused of being a recruiter in a theft ring that stole $140,000.

The use of force will be reviewed by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

The name of the officers involved were released Thursday. Officer Gavin Sasser has worked for the Gresham Police Department since 2008. Officer Kevin Carlson has been in law enforcement for more than 4 years but was hired by the Gresham department in 2015.


‘Did You Really Just Shoot Me?’: Oregon Family Seeks Answers After Son Fatally Shot During Altercation With Police

The Blaze – June 2016

“Did you really just shoot me?”

Those were 22-year-old Bodhi Phelps’ last words, according to his friend, before Phelps was fatally shot during an altercation with police just outside of Portland, Oregon, in the early morning May 24.

According to the Gresham Police Department, officers received numerous calls around 3 a.m. from witnesses who reported seeing a male physically assault a female and force her into a vehicle. The woman, according to witnesses, was screaming and appeared to have been kidnapped.

Bodhi Phelps, 22, was fatally shot during an altercation with police in Oregon last week. (Image provided to TheBlaze)

Bodhi Phelps, 22, was fatally shot during an altercation with police in Oregon last week. (Image provided to TheBlaze)

The woman reportedly also called 911 and said that she was being assaulted. She let the operator know that the man she was with had multiple warrants out for his arrest, police said.

Gresham police said that two of their officers responded to the scene — Gavin Sasser, hired to the force in 2008, and Kevin Carlson, hired nearly five years ago. When confronted by the officers, Phelps brandished two knives and refused to drop the weapons, police said.

But Phelps’ family and loved ones have said witnesses’ accounts differ from that of the police.

Shiloh Wilson-Phelps, Bodhi’s mother, told TheBlaze that she spoke to multiple witnesses who told her that her son was “murdered” as he ran from the officers.

“His girlfriend said he had no knife on him,” Wilson-Phelps said, adding that he had stabbed his pocket knife into the tire of the car earlier, most likely during his fight with his girlfriend. “She also said he ran from them. Also, he would have never turned around because he had warrants and didn’t want to be caught because he would have had to detox. He always ran. He knew it would be dropped in court.”

According to police, Phelps had three warrants for his arrest in Multnomah County for violation of probation for identity theft, violation of probation for possession of heroin and a felony warrant for possession of heroin.

Courtney Sherrell, Phelps’ girlfriend, disputed claims that she banged on the car windows and yelled for help, although she said how she could see how it would have appeared that way, during an interview with KATU-TV.

“We hit each other, we got a little out of hand and we hit each other,” she told the news station. “I mean, it shouldn’t have been like that.”

“He didn’t deserve this,” she added.

Bodhi Phelps with his girlfriend, Courtney Sherrell. (Image provided to TheBlaze.)

Bodhi Phelps with his girlfriend, Courtney Sherrell. (Image provided to TheBlaze.)

Sherrell also told KPTV that the police officers were aware of who Phelps was and knew that he didn’t have a violent past, especially toward officers.

“He’s always known to run,” she said.

Phelps, his mother told TheBlaze, struggled with a heroin addiction. As she and the community work to find more answers to what transpired in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting, she said she wants people to know more about the heroin epidemic in the U.S.

Time reported in July that heroin use in the U.S. is at an epidemic level, having increased 63 percent in 11 years, and heroin-related deaths have almost quadrupled during that same time period. Approximately 517,000 people said in 2013 they used heroin in the past year or had some sort of dependence on the drug. In 2013, more than 8,200 people died from a heroin overdose, Time reported.

In March, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to tackle the growing opioid use in the country. The bill would create grant programs for state and local governments to help improve education and treatment for drug use, the Washington Post reported. It would also incentivize medical providers to reduce unnecessary prescriptions and provide resources for veterans who struggle with addiction.

“He was an addict. He didn’t deserve to be killed, let alone shot,” Wilson-Phelps said.

When Wilson-Phelps first found out about the drugs, she said she went to her son’s school as well as the police and asked for help — help she said she never received.

“They were so uneducated about it and scared,” she said.

“He has gotten a lot of bad press I need everyone to know how amazing he was despite his shortcomings,” Wilson-Phelps said of her son. “He was an addict, not the devil.”

Dozens of family and community members rallied outside the Gresham police headquarters Wednesday evening with signs and balloons in an attempt to raise awareness as they demanded justice for Phelps. The group marched to the site of the shooting and released red balloons.

One protestor, Curtis Hansoni, told KATU during the event that Phelps was shot eight times in the back.

A spokesperson for the Gresham Police Department confirmed to TheBlaze that no officers were injured during the incident. The spokesperson said a grand jury is investigating the shooting and until then no other information will be available.