Two Portland State University police officers, Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey, were put on paid administrative leave after at least 1 of them opened fire near The Cheerful Tortoise around 1:30 a.m. on June 30, reported The Oregonian.
Jason E. Washington, 45, was a Navy veteran, father of 3, and a grandfather who was fatally shot by Portland State University campus police as he tried to break up a fight outside a sports bar.
The officers were near the bar when they saw the fight, according to Portland police, and one of the officers shot a man at the scene.
Alyssa LeCesne and Mike Joseph, friends of Washington’s, said Washington wasn’t involved in the fight and was trying to break it up.
A witness said Washington, who had a concealed carry permit, was open carrying a handgun, which is legal in Oregon, and was shot by an officer when he tried to pick up his firearm, which was knocked out of its holster during the scuffle.
The witness said police didn’t hesitate, when they saw a gun they yelled about a gun and started shooting.
Joseph said Washington was well-liked and everyone he’s spoken to about the killing is furious about his death, “especially after seeing the video.”
Portland State University President Rahman Shoureshi has asked the campus public safety chief to have an internal review of the shooting, as well as the school’s policy and procedures.
“Campus safety is our top priority at PSU,” Shoureshi said in a statement. “As you know, we are an urban campus, and that presents challenges.”
He said the school tries to provide a “safe and welcoming” environment on campus. The Portland Police Bureau is investigating the shooting.
The Portland State University Student Union said students opposed giving campus officers firearms when they started carrying in 2014. The group intends to continue to push for the removal of firearms from campus police.