PORTLAND, Ore. – Police said they shot a man in Northeast Portland on Monday morning who was threatening motorists with a gun, forcing the closure of Interstate 84 through much of the early afternoon.
The freeway was reopened in both directions between Interstate 205 and 181st at about 2 p.m. Police had closed it to process the crime scene.
Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Reese said when officers arrived just before 10 a.m., the man was on the eastbound off-ramp of I-84 at 122nd waving a gun at passing cars.
Reese said the man pointed a gun at officers and ran through traffic on the freeway, and police decided to shut the freeway down.
“After multiple attempts to carjack vehicles, the man was shot," Reese said. “This situation was very chaotic. Officers were responding to a life-threatening event.”
'He was within five feet of us' with a gun
Ronald Stiefel was stopped in the right lane at a light and was planning to drive north on 122nd when he saw a man to his right waving a gun at him.
"All of a sudden, I look to the right -- I'm the driver -- and I see this tall black guy as tall as a basketball player, and he had a black revolver and he was within five feet of us and he was pointing that gun at us," Stiefel told KATU.
When the light turned green, Stiefel stepped on the gas and got out of there, pulling over at a bus stop to call police.
"I thought we were going to get shot," he said. "I honestly thought we're going to get shot. We could have been wasted then."
One of the responding officers shot the suspect near the freeway, police said. The suspect then ran off the north side of the freeway and collapsed in the 11200 block of Northeast Fremont.
A SWAT team and a crisis negotiation team were sent in at around 10:30 a.m.
Reese said the man wouldn't comply with police and told officers he wanted them to shoot him.
Police approached the man using an armored vehicle, capturing him and taking him to the hospital.
Reese said the man's injuries weren't life-threatening, and that police found a handgun next to him. He said police are working to determine whether the gun was real or a replica.
People in the area were asked to shelter in place while police dealt with the man.
During the freeway closure authorities rerouted traffic.
The officer who shot the man was placed on administrative leave, which is standard in cases like this, Reese said.
Reese said police don't know anything about the man's background or what led up to the shooting. They asked anybody who saw the man on Monday and hasn't yet talked to police to call the non-emergency number at (503) 823-3333.
This breaking news story will be updated.