Skip to comments.Man shot by Washington County tactical officers was armed, thought intruder was on his property,
Posted on 03/15/2012 10:14:05 AM PDT by marktwain
The man shot by Washington County tactical officers in New Columbia Tuesday night had grabbed a gun because he thought intruders were on his property after his wife had checked on their barking dog in their backyard and saw a stranger in dark clothing.
Alberto Flores-Haro, according to relatives and witnesses, did not know that the men surrounding his home and neighborhood Tuesday night were authorities approaching to raid a residence just a few doors down from his home in the 9500 block of North Woolsey Avenue.
"There was someone in our backyard, and my mom called our stepdad," said Daniel Ibarra. "He told me to go upstairs and get the gun."
Ibarra, 17, said he didn't know where it was, and Flores-Haro followed him up the stairs and retrieved it. Ibarra said a stranger came through the home, and left through the front door.
Neighbor Juan Soto Martinez, 16, who lives across a walkway from Flores-Haro's home, said he heard Flores at his front door yelling with a man, who seemed to be outside, on the side of his house. Then, he heard multiple gunshots.
Ibarra found his stepdad collapsed in the front doorway of their home, shot in one arm and twice in the stomach, and called 9-1-1 about 10 p.m.
" I grabbed a rag and put pressure on his forearm," Ibarra recalled, and told his mother to grab a towel from the kitchen and place pressure on Flores' torso wounds.
GS.51SHOT115-02.jpgView full size Ibarra said his family had no idea that the men surrounding their home in tactical uniforms of army green were from the Washington County Sheriff's Office's Tactical Negotiation Team, who were assisting police.
He said of his dad, "I think he just wanted to scare them away. He didn't know who they were."
While his father lay bleeding, Ibarra said he was ordered out of the house.
"Once I stepped outside, I was ordered to get on the ground," said Ibarra, a Roosevelt High School senior.
He said the rest of his family, his mother and four other children from ages 5 and 13, were ordered to get out of the house, and then tactical officers grabbed his stepdad and carried him to a waiting ambulance.
Flores-Haro, 31, remains in serious condition at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.
In a release this afternoon, Portland police said three members of the Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team were involved in the shooting: one Hillsboro police officer and two Washington County Sheriff's deputies.
While Sgt. Pete Simpson said early today "there was an exchange of gunfire,'' police said later this afternoon that detectives have not determined if Flores-Haro fired any shots at police. Police also said that the officers "repeatedly identified themselves as law enforcement officers.''
"Preliminary information released at the scene was than an exchange of gunfire occurred. However, detectives have been searching for shell casings at the scene, which is lined by a heavily wood area. A handgun was recovered at the scene, but detectives have not determined if the man shot at police.''
Mayor Sam Adams also released a statement: "The City takes incidents such as this very seriously. As with any officer-involved shooting, there will be a thorough investigation and we will make sure every element is examined.''
This morning, Portland police have said only that the man shot by officers had approached police with a handgun as officers were getting ready to serve a search warrant at a nearby, unrelated location.
Simpson said this morning that as police prepared to approach an apartment to execute a search warrant that a man from a nearby apartment emerged with a handgun. Simpson did not know if the man fired first or how many shots officers fired. He said only that "there was an exchange of gunfire." No officer was shot.
Police later in the night did serve a search warrant at a home just doors down from Flores' house on North Woolsey Avenue, and arrested Anthony Bagsby, 20, and Cocoa Tapli, 16, who face accusations of attempted aggravated murder in connection with a Sunday night gang-related shooting and robbery on North Woolsey Avenue.
Portland Lt. Robert King declined to release any more details on the officer-involved shooting. He declined to release the name of the man shot, or explain why police were withholding the name. King also declined to answer whether the tactical officers had identified themselves as police outside Flores' home.
Portland had a mobile command center set up at the site through the night, and left about 10 a.m. today.
Many residents in the neighborhood said they got little sleep after they heard the gunshots. Some reported hearing between four and five, others said six or seven.
Martinez, who lives across from Flores' home, said he was watching TV in his living room, and caring for his younger brothers and sisters because their mom wasn't home at the time.
"I heard like four or five shots," Martinez said. When he looked out his window, "Alberto was laying in the front of his home, bleeding."
Martinez said he told his younger siblings to "get down," and then took them to an upstairs bathroom.
Residents in the area described Flores as a family man and a good neighbor, who worked loading trucks. They described him as in his 30s.
"He's a good neighbor," said Maria Bosyuk, who lives next door to Flores. She said her children heard the shooting and couldn't sleep.
"It sounded like three, then three more" shots, said Michelle Clopton, who lives on North Woolsey Avenue.
As she went to call 9-1-1, she heard police shouting commands to someone on a megaphone."The cops were on a loud speaker, saying 'Come out with your hands up!' Clopton said, who kept peeking out her window.
Another resident who asked not to be named said she was lying in bed when she heard six to seven gunshots. "I grabbed my phone to call police and noticed they were already all outside," she said.
scenephoto.jpgView full sizeMaxine Bernstein/The OregonianHome where Alberto Flores-Haro was shot, pictured far right. Building in foreground is location where tactical officers were readying to raid with a search warrant last night. She said the police orders via megaphone came much later, at least an hour or so: "Come out of the house! Do it now!"
An officer instructed her to stay in the back of her house, she said, and she was worried about the many children in the neighborhood.
"I was sitting in my living room and heard a lot of shots," said Dorine Nafziger, a North Woolsey Avenue resident who lives with her husband and 3-year-old son.
She and her husband went upstairs and looked out their back window.
"We saw the big SWAT tank and a lot of officers in army green suits, helmets and shields," Nafziger said.
She got on Facebook to share information with other neighbors to figure out what was going on. At one point , she said she saw police lead five people from a home in handcuffs.
"It freaks us out," Nafziger said. "It's not the first time something like this has happened in our neighborhood." Sonja Andreas said the gunshots came in what she described as two staccato explosions. Then she said, she heard a lot of yelling and screaming.
She called 9-1-1 and said she was told, "Don't worry, there's a police action happening right now."
But Andreas said she didn't see the usual marked police cars, but a large armored vehicle, and men in what looked like military-type garb.
Tactical teams from Portland, Washington and Clackamas counties routinely rely on each other. Simpson said officers on these teams train with each other and are "fairly interchangeable." Washington County's tactical team is comprised of officers from multiple police agencies and was assisting Portland police last night as Portland's tactical team was in training.
Simpson did not know how many officers fired on the suspect or which agencies they represent.
That's no fun. It's better to put on a bunch of tactical gear and play commando and get to shoot people and dogs
We’ve certainly seen this scenario before. Doesn’t happen when warrants are served by two officers in uniform or suits, unarmed and in daylight. Sorry, folks there is no excuse for accidental shootings of anyone related to no knock warrant service or any other police action, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The police serve Period. Their lives are on the line, not ours, period. Don’t like it, find a different job, preferably one not involving weapons and interaction with the public.
...and if I was dictator so let it be written, so let it be done. Time to step back in time about fifty years long before Miranda.
Totally unjustified, and if anyone isn’t aware these situations are happening more and more frequently. I can remember two recent ones just in the state of UT alone resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.
It is much more fun to live the macho fantasy in a SWAT outfit with more firepower than you need.
This can't be repeated enough.
As are the judges who allow this to happen in the first place.
Somebody is/somebodies are in deep, DEEP doo-doo...
If they were serving an arrest warrant “several doors down” from the victim’s house, I wonder what they were doing on his property.
Today the police lie all the time. I doubt very much that they identified themselves clearly as police - except, perhaps, after they shot him.
If the target was a few doors down the dog-shooting doughnut-eaters could have knocked on the victim’s door to let him know what was happening.
In my opinion, every civilian law enforcement agenciy in this country needs to be de-militarized.
“the man shot by officers had approached police with a handgun as officers were getting ready to serve a search warrant at a nearby, unrelated location.”
I wonder firstly why they need help from a Super Special Tactical Squad to execute a warrant. Isn’t that what the regular police force is for? Were too many officers tied up at the local speed trap? Was the warrant for Tony Montana?
More importantly, why were they wandering through random neighboring yards? Some elaborate sort of flanking maneuver? Looking for a quiet place to take a whiz?
More War on Drugs casualties. More idiot cops playing soldier.
Conservatives have to drop this war on drugs. Otherwise, quit your f’n whining about these incidents. You asked for this.
A place like Castigo Cay is looking better and better.
They tend to start building guillotines and rioting.
It's a mess that could be dealt with by nipping this out of control JBT behavior in the butt now...
“I wonder if it would simply be easier for a SWAT officer to dress up like a pest inspector or electrician and make the arrest under guile instead of the typical siege mentality.”
Yeah, but then they wouldn’t be able to use all that cool gear, or kick down doors and break windows, with their big ol guns goin blam-blam, kablooey!
Obviously that Newsweek was from W being in office. Now it would read, “Government knows what’s best for you, we should all obey their every command.”
Agreed. Take away the cammy-jammies and get ‘em back into Officer’s blues.
Now they just shoot ya.
Well the guy is about to get an upgrade on his residence...
I think many/most of these suburban warriors (especially clown platoons like this one) ought to dress up like Kurt Cobain and shoot themselves in the head.
America would be better off for it.
There was no warrant here. There was no probable cause.
They need to be incarcerated like any other armed intruder would be.
It is so painfully obvious these operations defeat every purpose they are supposed to be used for.
How many “honest” mistakes must there be before policies change?
Hint to police officers, someone on private property in the middle of the night makes homeowners justifiably nervous. They have a right to protect themselves, and that involves lethal force at times.
Not everyone with a gun is a bad guy. And if you’re causing someone to arm up and come outside late at night, don’t you see that as a big red flag?
So three of your brain-trusts couldn’t come to the conclusion that an innocent neighbor was justifiably concerned due to activity on his property, and cut him some slack?
Nope, gotta kill the guy two doors down too. He’s a neighbor to a crook, may not even know him, and of course that’s a grade ZZZ felony.