PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police shot and killed a man who pulled a replica handgun from his jacket pocket after threatening to jump from a roof and telling dispatchers he wanted to be killed by police.
The man, 21-year-old Brad Morgan, called emergency dispatchers at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday to say he committed a robbery and was standing on the roof of a nine-story parking garage. He said he had shot someone and threatened to jump.
"(Dispatchers) continued talking with the man, who mentioned shooting someone," Portland police said in a press release. "When asked if he had a gun, he answered, 'possibly.' "
Within 20 minutes, two Portland police officers found the man. They decided to call the Crisis Negotiation Team and Project Respond seven minutes later. The groups aid with negotiations with people with mental illnesses.
At about 4 a.m., police said Morgan reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out the replica handgun and pointed it at the two officers. The police officers fired. Morgan fell out of sight.
The replica is shaped like a handgun, with a black tip on the nose of the barrel.
After dropping from sight, police feared the man might be lying in wait, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Police Bureau spokesman.
Officers eventually used fire bureau ladders to reach the man, to find he was dead.
At least nine yellow evidence markers remained on the top level of the parking garage on Wednesday. As officers swarmed to the scene, traffic downtown was slowed and light-rail service was interrupted.
Morgan's parents said they knew their son had troubles, including custody battles over an infant son. The Oregonian reported he had been convicted of burglary earlier this month and was sentenced to probation.
"This time in his life grew very difficult to handle," his parents, Randy and Shelly Morgan, and younger sister Rashelley, said in a statement quoted in the newspaper. "It seemed to him that after he got one leg up that both legs got kicked out underneath. If this is true for you or anybody close to you, please ask for help."
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether Portland police use of force is excessive, particularly involving people suffering from mental illness.
The shooting was the first involving a Portland officer since Dane Reister mistakenly loaded his bean-bag shotgun with lethal rounds and seriously wounded a man June 30. Reister has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and negligent wounding.
The last time a Portland officer was involved in a fatal shooting, on Jan. 2, 2011, a 67-year-old man was shot when he advanced on two officers while holding a knife. A grand jury found no criminal wrongdoing.