PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say an officer who thought he was firing beanbag shotgun rounds mistakenly hit a man with real ammunition. Lt. Robert King says the man was hit in the hip Thursday by five shotgun pellets. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening wounds.
The unidentified man reportedly had been harassing children in a park. Callers told police the man seemed intoxicated and appeared to be armed with a knife. King says the man did not obey police commands.
Police Chief Michael Reese says his officers’ training protocols are designed to prevent such a mix-up. He told supervisors to immediately remind every beanbag shotgun operator to visually inspect each round as it’s loaded. King says “lethal rounds” are red and blue and beanbag rounds are yellow and clear in color.
Portland officers began carrying beanbag shotguns in the mid-1990s. King says such a mistake never happened before.
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave.