7/23/2023 News Roundup


<<Gunfire erupted inside Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Northwest Portland Saturday morning, leaving one security guard dead in the aftermath. After an hours-long search for the shooter, the suspect died in an officer-involved shooting in Gresham.

The incident began around 11 a.m. when the shots were fired on the 5th floor of the Irving Center near the birthing unit at the hospital, PPB Sgt. Kevin Allen said. Though they did not have any information it was an active shooter event, officers responded as if it was, he said.

The suspect — who has not been identified — fled the hospital, which led to “every available officer” working to locate the shooter.>>

<<By mid-afternoon the suspect was spotted in a vehicle at NE 181st and Everett, Allen told KOIN 6 News. An East precinct patrol car tried to make a traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle. A heavy police response — including SERT and the Crisis Negotiation Team, along with Gresham police and Multnomah County deputies — rushed to the scene.

“The Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team, which had responded here to the hospital, then responded to the scene in Gresham. We also had Gresham police, and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responding to that scene,” Allen said. “During that encounter shots were fired by the police, and the suspect is deceased.”>>

<<Three Portland police officers used their guns during this incident, authorities said. No other responding agencies at the scene were involved in the gunfire.>>

<<The security guard, Bobby Smallwood, was initially treated at Legacy Good Samaritan before being transferred to a trauma center. Despite life-saving efforts, the security guard died at the trauma center, Allen said.

Legacy officials said another staff member who was injured in the shooting is in stable condition. They added no patients were injured.>>


<<“Per Bureau policy, the identity of Bureau members involved shall be released within 15 days, absent a credible security threat. No other police agencies were involved in the use of deadly force,” PPB said. “In addition to the East County Major Crimes investigation, as part of the use of force review process, the Bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident, including the initial response, resources requested, tactics used, and post shooting actions.”>>


<<One security officer was killed Saturday and another person was injured following a shooting at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland that led to a confrontation in Gresham hours later where police fatally shot the suspect.

Legacy identified the security officer who was killed as Bobby Smallwood, 44, in a statement late Saturday afternoon. The other person injured in the shooting was also a hospital employee and was in stable condition, according to Legacy Health.

The shooting drew police officers from across the city, locked down the hospital for hours in a dense urban area filled with shops and restaurants, and forced an emergency evacuation of a nearby Fred Meyer store.

Central Precinct officers responded to the hospital just before 11 a.m.

Officers closed off streets surrounding the hospital while police searched the area for the suspect who they believed had left the building after firing shots inside on the hospital’s fifth floor.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, numerous police vehicles converged in the middle of Northeast 181st Avenue near Glisan Street in Gresham.

Portland police from East Precinct and Gresham officers stopped the suspect’s vehicle, a white-and-maroon van, outside of the U.S. Bank on 181st. Tactical armored vehicles, along with Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies, arrived shortly afterwards.

Shoppers in the area said they saw a standoff between police and a person in the van, and then heard three to four gunshots.

At about 4:30 p.m., Portland police spokesperson Sgt. Kevin Allen confirmed that police fatally shot the suspect outside the bank.

Allen said that police identified the suspect while he was driving the van and waited for assistance before attempting a traffic stop.

Police said the suspect did not cooperate and was shot by three Portland police officers.

Brandon Loos, who lives along 181st Avenue, said he was in his yard when he heard three gunshots. He said he didn’t hear any police commands before the gunfire rang out.

”The gunshots were incredibly loud,” Loos said. “Two consecutive, then a pause and then one more.”

He said he looked over his fence and saw police putting up yellow tape to block off the street.

A heavy police presence converged on 181st Avenue, including officers from the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Gresham police. Police used an officer-operated drone and robot at the scene and approached with a police dog.

Portland firefighters also were called to the scene just before 2 p.m., after officers relayed a concern that the suspect had a gas can in the front seat of the van and officers were worried he might light the van on fire.

After the shooting, Portland homicide detectives and police union representatives arrived.

The initial emergency call came from Good Sam security at 10:55 a.m., reporting that “someone visiting a patient verbally threatened hospital staff.”

When police arrived, hospital security reported shots had been fired.

Allen said that the shooting happened on the fifth floor, where the birthing center is located, but could not say if it happened in the birthing center or in a hallway near it.

Police found Smallwood wounded and began treatment. He was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, which is a Level 1 Trauma Center.

There, “he died despite additional lifesaving treatment efforts,” police said.

The Stadium Fred Meyer at the corner of Northwest 20th Avenue and West Burnside Street was evacuated in the early afternoon as police searched for the shooting suspect.

Ed Jackson, who is recovering from a kidney transplant, was on the third floor of the hospital Saturday when he heard what sounded like three gunshots.

He said he couldn’t tell where the shots came from, but the hospital suddenly went into lockdown, with doors shut and barricaded. He said he was told to stay in his room with the door closed. He spoke by phone with The Oregonian/ OregonLive.

Tactical officers were observed earlier approaching the hospital’s emergency department off Northwest 23rd Avenue, a neighbor said.

Dozens of police closed off a four-block radius around the hospital, as people visited restaurants and shops, taking detours around the police tape.

Mo Badreddine was on his way back to Good Sam when he got a call from his father, who was getting an iron infusion.

”I told him I was on my way back, and he said I wouldn’t be able to get in,” Badreddine said. “He said there was an active shooter.”

Good Samaritan was in “code silver – lockdown” as of 3:00 p.m. Legacy said that meant employees must use their badge to enter the hospital; the emergency department and the birth center are on divert status; and the rest of the hospital is operating as normal.>>



<<Five members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front were convicted Thursday of misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot at a Pride event.

A Kootenai County jury found Forrest Rankin, Devin Center, Derek Smith, James Julius Johnson and Robert Whitted guilty after about an hour of deliberation, news outlets reported.

A total of 31 Patriot Front members, including one identified as its founder, were arrested on June 11, 2022, after someone reported seeing people loading into a U-Haul van like “a little army” at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d’Alene, police have said.

Police found riot gear, a smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van after pulling it over near where the North Idaho Pride Alliance was holding a Pride in the Park event, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White has said.

Documents found with the group reportedly outlined a plan to form a column outside City Park and proceed inward, “until barriers to approach are met.” Once “an appropriate amount of confrontational dynamic had been established,” the column would disengage and head down Sherman Avenue.

Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia and Arkansas.

Rioting is generally a misdemeanor in Idaho. Conspiracy to riot is punishable by up to one year in jail, as well as a $5,000 fine and up to two years of probation. The five men are scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.>>



<<The first death in Multnomah County jails this year was on May 2. There have been four more since. WW has obtained records from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission that show, in conjunction with records obtained by Reuters, just how unprecedented these past three months have been.

It’s been a long time, if ever, that Multnomah County jails saw more deaths in one year than have been recorded in the first seven months of 2023. In two years—2010 and 2015—four adults in custody died in Multnomah County jails.

The county medical examiner has yet to confirm the causes of the deaths, although the sheriff’s office has said 31-year-old George Allen Walker died due to “natural causes” and a prosecutor said 26-year-old Donovan Anthony Wood committed suicide. According to 911 call records obtained by WW, the death of 53-year-old Kashi Abram Harmon “may have been a suicide attempt,” although jail staff was unsure.

On Friday, following the announcement of the death of 31-year-old Josiah G. Pierce at Inverness Jail in Northeast Portland, Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell issued a statement acknowledging the “profound impact” of the deaths on their families, crime victims, inmates and staff.

“Jails are a microcosm of society, reflecting trends we see and feel across the region and country,” she said, pointing to “a lack of preventative health care access prior to incarceration, the presence of chronic illnesses, substance abuse issues, mental illnesses, and other socio-economic factors.”

One of those factors: the rise of the potent opioid fentanyl. In a briefing of county commissioners last month, a corrections health supervisor, Ederlinda Ortiz, said inmates were experiencing such long and intense drug withdrawals that they were too sick to leave the premises after being released. Her team provides them with  Gatorade, clothes, shoes and blankets as they suffer from withdrawals steps from the jail doors.

“The hard truth is that too often there is nowhere for people to go,” Ortez said. “We cannot compete with fentanyl.”

It is unclear whether any of the deaths were drug related. “I am committed to identifying and implementing solutions to prevent deaths in our custody,” Sheriff O’Donnell said in her Friday statement.>>



<<Closing arguments concluded Friday in the federal case against Tony Klein, a former prison nurse accused of sexually assaulting women at the prison where he worked.

Klein worked at Coffee Creek, Oregon’s only women’s prison, for several years. More than two dozen women held in custody at the Wilsonville facility during Klein’s tenure filed complaints about his conduct.

The federal case included 19 charges related to accusations from 11 women along with four additional charges of lying under oath. Most of the accusations involved Klein coming onto women or forcing them into sexual acts against their will during what was supposed to be a medical appointment. Such actions, the government argued, constitute a violation of the women’s right, under the Eighth Amendment, to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Women accused Klein of groping their breasts and genitals, exposing himself to them and in some cases forcing himself on them. The federal prosecutor argued that Klein was an opportunistic predator who acted unlawfully when he coerced women in custody into sexual acts against their will.>>

<<“The women were resigned to their status at Coffee Creek — they were inmates, he was staff,” said Bell, who is with the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. “He did not count on his victims coming into this courtroom to testify.”

The defense argued that Klein was innocent of all charges and had been set up by women who knew each other and were motivated by getting money from the state for their alleged abuse.

“This case isn’t about the MeToo movement,” defense attorney Amanda Alvarez Thibeault said. “It isn’t about if inmates should be protected, because of course they should. It isn’t about whether sex with a staff member in prison is OK, because of course it isn’t. This is only about the value of the accusations against my client…the value of those accusations was zero.”

In addition to the 11 women directly involved in the case, six additional women who had previously filed complaints against Klein were heard by the court. Pointing to inconsistencies in some witness testimony, Thibeault said that all 17 women who testified before the court about abuses by Klein were lying.

“Zero plus zero plus zero plus zero, 17 times over, is still zero,” Thibeault said.

The jury is now deliberating on the charges.>>



<<The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries found “substantial evidence” that the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office engaged in discrimination based on gender and sex, as well as retaliation connected to those complaints. The findings, first reported by The Oregonian/Oregonlive, resulted from an investigation kickstarted by a complaint filed by Carolyn Amber Kinney, an attorney in the DA’s office who resigned in February 2022.

The BOLI investigation agreed with Kinney’s assertion that the DA’s office discriminated against her, and other women practicing law under the county prosecutor, Mike Schmidt, when it comes to promotions into leadership roles.

“Despite an almost equal distribution of male and female attorneys overall, only around 20% of women compared to 80% of men held leadership positions,” the investigation said.

In addition, a predominantly male leadership group made decisions about whom to elevate into higher positions, using factors BOLI considered “extremely subjective.” The list of qualifications includes “perceived readiness for promotion,” “ability to work with a team” and “a demonstrated willingness to promote the DA’s policy and philosophical direction.”

BOLI’s report said the DA’s office didn’t provide details on how the factors are taken into account.

The District Attorney’s leadership team promoted six attorneys into top positions in an 18-month period from August 2020 to January 2022. Five of the promoted attorneys were men, “despite the majority of eligible employees for leadership positions being women.” The BOLI report acknowledges, though, that after Kinney raised concerns and resigned in February 2022, several women received promotions.

BOLI’s investigation found friction between Schmidt and Kinney, dating back to Schmidt’s run for office. Schmidt suggested “concerns about [Kinney]’s judgement” according to the BOLI report, but investigators found little documentation of problems and instead pointed to favorable performance ratings for Kinney over her 14 years of service.

In addition, BOLI found that Schmidt “subjected [Kinney] to unbearable working conditions, ultimately leading to her resignation.”

In the wake of Kinney raising concerns about gender discrimination, the BOLI investigation found evidence that Schmidt retaliated against Kinney. Amid a discussion of creating a new leadership position in the office, and possibly moving Kinney into it, Schmidt was hesitant. BOLI’s report says Schmidt told his executive team “he would not endorse the promotion of someone metaphorically ‘holding a gun to his head.’”

The BOLI investigation did not support all of Kinney’s allegations.

Kinney alleged she was discriminated against because she was married, but BOLI concluded there was not “a clear connection between the alleged discriminatory impact of the policy and her marital status.” Instead, BOLI said the evidence in their investigation showed other factors played a role as well — such as her having small children and a full-time working spouse.

The investigation also dismissed the allegation that the DA’s office had a hostile work environment. BOLI said Kinney didn’t present “evidence of harassment” such as name-calling or offensive jokes.>>



<< Portland Police Bureau (PPB) call the number of deadly crashes this week, and even this month — shocking. Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies said they’re on pace to have more fatal crashes this year than they’ve had in over a decade.

And they believe many of these wrecks, some caused by street racing, others by drivers allegedly under the influence, were entirely preventable.

Although agencies like PPB are focusing their efforts on enforcement through the reinstated traffic division, officers are still seeing far too many driving recklessly on the roads.

In Portland, police reported 42 traffic related deaths this year, and 11 of those from just this month. >>

<<Allen said PPB has been busy with the traffic patrol division, a team of 12 officers working from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week, to address dangerous driving. It was reinstated in May, after a more than a two year hiatus. >>

<<Over in Washington County, deputies report 15 fatal crashes this year. >>