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Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Feb. 20, 2024

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Grand jury: Portland officer’s slaying of carjacking suspect not criminal

By , Columbian staff reporter

A Multnomah County, Ore., grand jury on Thursday found that a Portland police officer’s Dec. 6 fatal shooting of a man suspected in a string of armed carjackings was not criminal.

The grand jury returned a not true bill after hearing evidence in Officer John Hughes’ shooting of 30-year-old Brandon Keck, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. Keck was associated with Vancouver and Bellingham addresses.

Around 9:10 a.m., Portland police responded to a home invasion in North Portland. Police said the suspect, later identified as Keck, stole a car from the house and committed several carjackings over 30 to 40 minutes.

Portland Police Lt. Nathan Sheppard said that as officers followed the stolen vehicle, Keck drove northbound on Interstate 5 in the southbound lanes. At one point, Keck got out of the stolen car and attempted yet another carjacking at gunpoint on the freeway before Hughes shot him, the Associated Press previously reported.

The police bureau initially said Keck shot a woman on the freeway but later said that was not true.

Hughes was on administrative leave during the investigation. He has worked for the Portland Police Bureau for 17 years, according to the agency.

The shooting forced the closure of the I-5 Bridge in both directions and a section of the freeway in Portland around 10:30 a.m. The closure for the investigation caused traffic backups throughout Clark County for most of the day.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said his office will request the court authorize the release of the grand jury transcript for public review. If granted, the district attorney’s office would post the transcript to its website.