Monday, September 21, 2020
Sept. 21, 2020

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Portland police fatally shoot man near coffee shop


PORTLAND — Portland police fatally shot a person Sunday outside a coffee shop on the city’s southeast side, the Oregonian/ reported.

The shooting about 1:43 p.m. outside the Starbucks store prompted a large police response.

Police did not detail what led to the shooting, and they did not identify the person shot, the Oregonian/ reported. The Police Bureau said in a news release that no officers were injured in the incident and that there’s no danger to the public.

A large number of witnesses were brought aboard a TriMet bus while police investigated, the newspaper reported. Another bus was nearby when the shooting occurred, and some on board were being interviewed as witnesses.

A father and son, who work at a food cart just one short block from the intersection where the shooting took place, told the Oregonian that they watched as the scene unfolded.

Wasim Elhaj, 21, was standing at the intersection of Southeast 102nd and Stark Street when he saw a person walking and moving strangely in the middle of Southeast 103rd Drive, the newspaper reported.

Traffic was blocked and two cars were honking. So he alerted his father, Hicham Elhaj, who was cooking in the food cart just behind him.

Hicham stepped out to see what caused the commotion, he said. The person in the street had a blanket or tarp wrapped around their body and looked possibly homeless, Hicham told the Oregonian.

At least two police SUVs had pulled up to where traffic was stopped, Hicham said. He watched as officers exited their vehicles and that’s when the person began to swiftly approach the officers, Hicham said.

Officers stood holding guns, one with a large rifle-type gun and another with a smaller handgun, he said.

Hicham said he heard yelling, but he couldn’t make out exactly what words were exchanged and heard three sudden gunshots. Both father and son watched as the person fell to the ground.

Hicham told the Oregonian that he has seen many unusual things in the neighborhood.

“But it’s my first time seeing someone killed,” Hicham said, shaken. “It happened so fast.”

A witness told KOIN-TV that he was caught off guard by the sound of gunfire.

“I hear gunshots. I turned to my left and then I see a man fall right over there,” said Raphael Israel, who then gestured across the street from where he was standing.

When asked if he heard anything happen before the gunshots, Israel said, “No. Surprisingly, there was no yelling–no anything.”

He said within a matter of minutes, more police arrived at the scene.