Friday, December 9, 2022
Dec. 9, 2022

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Lanes of I-5 reopen after closures due to Portland police shooting

By , Columbian Web Editor, and
, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A fatal police shooting on Interstate 5 in North Portland closed both directions of the freeway for about 6½ hours Monday, causing traffic headaches throughout Clark County. Southbound I-5 reopened at the Interstate 5 Bridge by 5 p.m., and the northbound lanes reopened about 45 minutes later.

The I-5 Bridge closed in both directions around 10:30 a.m. The Washington State Department of Transportation routed southbound traffic from I-5 to state Highway 14 east onto Interstate 205.

Traffic on I-205 and Highway 14 was a parking lot for much of the day, and there wasn’t a highway in Clark County or the Portland area that wasn’t seeing delays or closures. The backups spilled onto surface streets, including East Mill Plain and Fourth Plain boulevards in Vancouver.

Throughout the day, traffic maps showed backups on southbound I-205 past the junction with I-5 in Salmon Creek and as far north as Northeast 179th Street, on southbound I-5 to Hazel Dell and eastbound state Highway 500 past St. Johns Boulevard.

C-Tran said on Twitter several routes were either significantly delayed, detoured or dropped.

During the closure, northbound traffic was directed to leave the freeway at North Greeley Avenue and southbound traffic was directed to exit at Victory Boulevard in Portland, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Interstate 405 north was also closed at I-5.

Portland shooting

Around 9:10 a.m., Portland police responded to a home invasion in North Portland. Police say that the suspect stole a car from the house and committed “multiple” carjackings over the span of 30 to 40 minutes.

Portland Police Lt. Nathan Sheppard said that as officers followed the stolen vehicle, the suspect drove northbound on I-5 in the southbound lanes. At one point, the suspect got out of the stolen car and attempted yet another carjacking at gunpoint on the freeway. Police say the suspect shot an occupant in the car. The victim was treated for an injury that was not life-threatening.

Portland police shot and killed the carjacking suspect. The suspect’s identity has not been released.

Nearly 40 police and medical units responded to the incident.

“This is a very complex investigation with the crime scene spanning all over north and northeast Portland,” Sheppard said during a media briefing.

This is the fourth fatal officer-involved shooting by Portland police this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.