UPDATE: Suspected apartment gunman shot by marshals in Portland

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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A man suspected in a shooting outside an Orchards area apartment complex Wednesday was shot and seriously injured by Deputyt U.S. Marshals in Portland during an early Thursday afternoon standoff.

Adam S. Berndt, who turns 23 Saturday, was shot after he allegedly fired at the marshals just after noon outside a home in the 4600 block of Northeast 95th Avenue. He was taken to Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, and police said late Wednesday he was in critical condition.

The incident came the day after a warrant alleging first-degree attempted murder was issued for Berndt, the suspect in a shooting Wednesday morning outside the Prairie View Apartments, 12611 N.E. 99th St.

Berndt was allegedly hiding in a northeast Portland home when federal authorities came to serve the warrants, including one for a parole violation. That’s when he ran out of the house and allegedly fired shots at the marshals. Multiple shots were fired at Berndt in response.

No officers were injured, according to a bulletin from the U.S. Marshals Office in Portland.

Eric Wahlstrom, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Office, suspects Berndt will be taken into custody in connection with the Clark County shooting once — and if — he recovers from the police shooting. He’s uncertain about Berndt’s prognosis.

“It was a pretty serious” shooting, Wahlstrom said.

Berndt had eluded Clark County sheriff’s deputies since the 7:45 a.m. Wednesday shooting. He is accused of shooting Steven McKnight, 29, four times during an apparent drug transaction in the parking lot of the Orchards apartment complex.

McKnight, who was shot in the hip, shoulder and both arms, was taken to Southwest Washington Medical Center’s intensive care unit. He was listed in satisfactory condition Wednesday afternoon. Authorities said he is homeless.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court, a witness told deputies she saw what she described as a drug deal between the two men moments before the shooting. Sitting in a parked vehicle, she said she first saw the shooter lift his shirt to show McKnight a small bag near his belt. Suddenly, between five and seven shots were fired and the gunman ran off.

She later identified Berndt as the shooter in a photo montage, according to court documents.

Police said the suspect and victim did not live at the complex. The victim was believed to have been visiting a friend.

Deputies initially believed the incident could have been gang-related because the duo have loose connections with gangs. However, there was no mention of those alleged ties in the arrest warrant.

Police said Berndt has a criminal history, including a second-degree assault conviction.

Thursday night, police detectives were still at the scene where Berndt was shot by deputy U.S. Marshals and were investigating, said Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland Police Bureau.

“It’s very methodical and thorough,” he said. “You only get one chance to gather all the evidence the right way.”

Laura McVicker: 360-735-4516 or laura.mcvicker@columbian.com.