Portland State University police shoot, kill man during Oregon bar fight
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland State University police shot and killed a man while responding to a bar fight near campus, and a witness said the victim had been trying to stop the melee early Friday.
Video sent by a bystander to KOIN-TV shows men fighting outside the Cheerful Tortoise, a sports bar and karaoke club. During the scuffle, someone yelled there’s a gun. Then shots were fired.
The video shows a shorts-wearing man with a gun at his hip get knocked to the ground. The shots rang out when he got back up.
Witness Keyaira Smith told KGW-TV the man who died was trying to de-escalate the fight. While doing so, a gun holstered on his hip fell out, Smith said. He went to pick it up and was shot, Smith added.
Though Portland State University officers were involved in the shooting, city police are handling the investigation.
Portland Sgt. Chris Burley confirmed that university officers fired while responding to a disturbance outside the bar. The agency said later Friday that detectives believe that the university officers were nearby when they became aware of the disturbance.
The officers contacted the people believed to be involved in the disturbance and shortly thereafter broadcast that shots had been fired, city police said. A man died at the scene, police said. His name hasn’t been released.
Homicide detectives were continuing to interview witnesses and review cellphone and surveillance video, Burley said.
Portland State University officials identified the two officers involved in the shooting as Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey. They were placed on administrative leave while police investigate.
The Portland State University Board of Trustees — over the objection of student protesters — voted in 2015 to have campus officers carry firearms.
That’s not unusual in the U.S. A Justice Department survey released a few years ago showed two-thirds of public and private campuses used armed officers during 2011 to 2012. The survey included 900 four-year colleges with at least 2,500 students.