On Friday, January 29, 2010, at 4:22 p.m., Portland Police Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding a suicidal man who was armed with a gun at an apartment complex located in the 12800 Block of NE Sandy Boulevard. The 9-1-1 call was from a friend of the girlfriend of the suicidal man. The caller told 9-1-1 that she thought the man possibly wanted to commit suicide by having the police shoot him. The caller said that she was concerned about her friend and her friend’s children who were possibly with him because she had not been able to contact her.
The first officer arrived at 4:30 p.m., quickly followed by additional officers. They made contact with a woman in the parking lot of the apartment complex. She told officers her boyfriend was inside the apartment with their children and had been despondent over the past few days, threatening suicide with a gun. She said her boyfriend had been carrying the gun with him and she had seen him put it the pocket of his black coat. While talking to the police, the woman sent a text message to her boyfriend asking him to come out. A short time after that, she received a text back from him that made comments about him bringing his gun out with him.
Officers initiated communications with the man via text and cellular telephone. At 5:33 p.m., the three children came out of the apartment and police were able to reunite them with their mother.
At 6:03 p.m., officers observed the man looking out from the back of the apartment. At 6:07 p.m., the man abruptly came out the front door of the apartment and officers began giving him directions in order to take him safely into custody. Initially, it appeared that the man was being compliant but then his actions suddenly changed. The man began making statements to the officers that they were going to have to shoot him.
Due to the man’s actions, one officer at the scene deployed a less lethal bean bag round. The man continued to not comply with the officer’s directions and in response, the officer fired more bean bag rounds. The lethal cover officer fired his AR-15 rifle in response to perceived threatening actions. The actions of the man that was shot will be fully released to the public after all officers and witnesses have been interviewed.
Officers at the scene immediately called for medical assistance but were not able to safely approach the man because they believed that he was still armed with a gun. The Special Emergency Reaction Team, (SERT), was activated and arrived on scene 23 minutes later. SERT is specially trained and equipped to safely approach and disarm potentially armed subjects. SERT medics attended to the man and pronounced him deceased at the scene.
Portland Police Homicide Detectives, as well as investigators from the East County Major Crime Team responded and began investigating this incident. The officer who fired the AR-15 is an eight year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau and is assigned to East Precinct. All officers and witnesses at the scene are being interviewed by investigators.
The man who was shot has been identified as 25-year-old Aaron Marcell Campbell of Portland. An autopsy was performed by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office on Saturday morning. The Medical Examiner’s Officer has determined that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound. Campbell had a history of violent criminal behavior that includes weapons charges, resisting arrest and had an active restraining order that prohibited him from carrying a firearm.
Detectives are continuing their investigation of this incident. In the next few days, all interviews of officers and witnesses will be complete. After those interviews are completed, additional details of this shooting will be released to the public.
Suicidal Man Shot by Portland Police, press release PDF