Portland police say officers fired at a man inside and then outside a Starbucks attached to a Fred Meyer grocery store in Northeast Portland on Friday, wounding him after he harassed baristas and displayed a handgun once authorities arrived.
Four officers opened fire on the 34-year-old man at the coffee shop in the same building as the Hollywood district Fred Meyer at 3030 N.E. Weidler St. after 5:05 p.m., according to Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive, he said.
The wounded man’s identity has not yet been released by police. Simpson said he has a federal warrant for his arrest on suspicion of escape. A firearm believed to have been in the wounded man’s possession was seized by officers, Simpson said. He added that it’s not yet clear if the gun was fired, nor has it been confirmed if it is real or a replica.
No one else was injured. The four officers involved have not yet been identified, and they will be placed on paid administrative leave.
Fred Meyer remained open after the shooting and was still serving customers as of 8:40 p.m. There is no entrance into the Starbucks from inside the grocery store.
A large section of the parking lot near Northeast 30th Avenue and Broadway was blocked off with several rows of yellow police tape, but customers outside the tape came and went from the store using another entrance and shopped as usual.
A few customers shopping in the store at the time of the shooting told The Oregonian/OregonLive that they heard three to eight gunshots and initially weren’t sure where they were coming from. Employees in the store said they were told not to speak to anyone other than police about the shooting.
Tamara Siuda said she was walking toward a Chase bank ATM in the shopping complex to deposit a check when when she heard shouting and saw police officers with guns running in that direction. She slowed down and considered heading back to her car, but decided that it might not protect her if a shooting were to occur.
She decided to stay on the side of the building. Two Fred Meyer employees stopped her from heading into the store, and the three of them speculated about what could be going on to draw armed officers there.
“We yelled at several people in cars to not go near the store, and the gunfire began,” Siuda said. “I can’t say there was much time to think.”
The three huddled against the building and ducked down, she said. Siuda credits prior martial arts training in helping her keep her composure during the shooting.
She was not sure how many shots she heard.
“Once there is that much gunfire, though, the only smart thing to do is get out of the way,” she said.
Siuda said they saw officers drag a man onto the sidewalk from near the Starbucks entrance, and then she and the Fred Meyer employees decided to head into the grocery store.
Customers were being directed to leave through the garden area entrance. Police put up caution tape around the area, she said.
Siuda said she later asked to get her car, which was parked in the cordoned-off section, and was eventually allowed to leave.
She was surprised how quickly the shooting unfolded. She said she sent a text about seeing police with guns at the store at 5:18 p.m. and replied that she was safe six minutes later. She saw an ambulance leave at 5:39 p.m. and got home by 6:23 p.m.
Siuda said after looking at the timestamps on her phone, she felt everything occurred over a much longer period of time. She later learned that the man shot was going to survive.
“I am very glad that it wasn’t much worse than it was,” she said. “I think it could have been, easily.”
Some possible witnesses at one point were led out of the store by officers and onto a TriMet bus parked in the cordoned-off section of the parking lot. Police staff individually took their pictures while on the bus and then took them into cars nearby and interviewed them.
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw was among the officers at the shooting scene. She said in a statement that an investigation of the shooting is underway.
“I’m thankful there was no loss of life during this volatile situation,” she said.
According to Simpson, the 34-year-old man appeared under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he came into the Starbucks and began yelling at workers. He then went behind the counter, causing the employees to go into a back room and lock the door.
The man tried to get inside the room, and someone called 911. Officers saw the man with the gun when they arrived, prompting them to shoot at him inside the coffee shop, Simpson said.
The man then went outside the Starbucks, was shot at again and fell down after being hit, Simpson said. He then struggled with officers as they tried putting him in handcuffs, according to Simpson.
He was taken to a hospital in Portland for treatment. It’s not yet clear how long he will be in the hospital. He will likely be booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center afterward.
Simpson said he didn’t immediately have any more details on the man’s prior federal case. He said he didn’t know how many workers were in the Starbucks when the shooting occurred and added that investigators believe customers left soon after the man arrived.
Simpson said more information related to the shooting will possibly be released Saturday.
Update, 12/8: This story has been updated with additional witness account.
— Everton Bailey Jr.