Thursday, May 11, 2017

Update on Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation on Southeast Flavel Street (Photo)


News Release from Portland Police Bureau
Posted on FlashAlert: May 11th, 2017 3:05 PM
Downloadable file: Terrell_Johnson_24.jpg
Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances leading to a fatal officer-involved shooting last night in Southeast Portland.

The deceased has been identified as 24-year-old Terrell Kyreem Johnson. Johnson does not have a fixed address and a family member has an active restraining order/protective order against Johnson.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy today and determined that Johnson died of multiple gunshot wounds. Toxicology results are pending examination.

The Police Bureau has been in contact with Johnson's family and they are requesting complete privacy at this time. According to Johnson's family, he has been struggling with drug addiction that they believe may have affected his mental health. Johnson has no mental health history on file with the Portland Police Bureau.

The Portland Police Bureau officer involved in the shooting is Samson Ajir, an eight-year-veteran of the Bureau assigned to the Transit Police Division.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputy partnered with Officer Ajir in the Transit Police Division is Deputy AJ Ajir -- Officer Ajir's brother.

During the investigation thus far, detectives have learned that Johnson was acting erratically and threatening people at the Flavel Street Transit Station which prompted a 9-1-1 call for police. The caller described Johnson as a white male, provided a clothing description, and a description of Johnson's behavior to the call-taker with the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC).

The first arriving officer at the scene was Officer Jacob Howell of the West Linn Police Department, assigned to the Transit Police Division. Officer Howell was in the early stages of his investigation into the report and was speaking with Johnson, who was non-compliant and would not sit down. As Officer Ajir and Deputy Ajir arrived, Johnson ran from the officers -- first westbound on Flavel then back eastbound before running northbound on the MAX bridge over Johnson Creek.

Officer Ajir was in close proximity to Johnson when Johnson displayed a utility knife prompting Officer Ajir to fire his handgun multiple times, striking Johnson. After Johnson was down on the ground, additional officers arrived and approached Johnson with a shield for officer-safety, then began rendering immediate medical aid until paramedics arrived. Paramedics determined that Johnson was deceased. A utility knife was recovered from the scene.

None of the law enforcement agencies directly involved in this incident are using body cameras at this time.

This investigation is continuing and no additional details are expected to be released until after the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office presents the case to a grand jury, which is standard procedure. Grand jury testimony is generally recorded in officer-involved shooting investigations, with transcripts being provided to the public in a timely manner.

Officer Ajir has been placed on paid Administrative Leave until the conclusion of the grand jury, which is also standard procedure. Deputy Ajir and Officer Howell have been placed on paid Administrative Leave for three days as is standard protocol with their respective agencies.

Chief Mike Marshman and Mayor Ted Wheeler responded to the scene on Wednesday evening as well as representatives from the Office of Independent Police Review, Professional Standards Division, Training Division, Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, Forensic Evidence Division, TriMet, and various partner agencies included in the Transit Police Division.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family and the families of Officer and Deputy Ajir during this difficult time," said Chief Mike Marshman. "This is not the outcome anyone desires and it's distressing for all involved. We remain committed to full transparency and upon completion of the grand jury, we will ensure the entire investigation is released in a timely manner."

"I have been in regular communication with Chief Marshman about these events, and we agree that information should be provided to the public in a timely and transparent manner," said Mayor Wheeler. "As facts become available, we must acknowledge that this is a difficult time for the Johnson family and for the officers involved. My thoughts are with them."

As part of the use of force review process, the Bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board (PRB), which is comprised of community members, Bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division.

Once the entire investigation and legal process is complete, the investigative files and any grand jury transcripts will be posted on the Bureau's Open Data page and can be found here:

The photo of Johnson that is being released was from an April 29, 2017, arrest for bicycle theft.

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