SE Portland neighbors describe tense standoff as police surround suspect … – OregonLive.com
Mia Brown and her boyfriend, Jon Todd, knew something was going on outside when they heard sirens and saw blue lights flashing around their house at Southeast 79th Avenue and Raymond Street late Tuesday night.
Brown’s cell phone rang and sure enough it was a disembodied, computer-generated voice on the other end telling them to stay inside, there was police activity in their neighborhood.
Police, as Brown and Todd would later learn, were searching for a man who they say ran into the neighborhood after shooting at officers.
The couple cautiously looked out the window of Todd’s daughter’s bedroom. Just feet away on the other side of a wooden fence, spotlights lit the house and yard of their neighbor Lein Nguyen. Brown set her iPhone on a ledge pointing east toward the fence and started to shoot video from the unoccupied bedroom, which Todd’s daughter only uses on weekends.
During the next 30 minutes, they heard Portland police hostage negotiators use a megaphone to address someone hiding in the next yard, the sound of a muffled gunshot and several loud explosions.
“We know you are there. Put your hands over the fence,” the negotiators can be heard saying on the video. To the west, south and north of their home they could see heavily armed men in fatigues and helmets.
“It was like a war zone,” said Brown, who could see the bright red pinprick lights of laser-sighted weapons from police playing across Nguyen’s fence and house.
When the first shot rang out — police later said this was the sound of the suspect shooting himself after firing shots at officers outside Shimmer’s Bar & Grill, a strip club about four blocks to the south on Southeast Foster Road — Brown dropped to the floor and crawled away from the window.
They heard the sound of two more shots, apparently the sound of police firing less-than-lethal weapons at the suspect.
“I didn’t want to get shot,” she said. “There were cops surrounding our house.”
For a few minutes, Todd and Brown thought maybe the suspect was hiding in their yard.
As her cell phone video captured the scene, Brown would later see something fly over the fence into Ngyuen’s yard followed by a loud explosion, and then a second explosion from flash-bang grenades police said they threw into the yard near the suspect.
There was no response. When officers entered the yard, they found the suspect dead.
Todd and Brown didn’t get much sleep.
“It was loud and different for sure,” Brown said. “But the police certainly had a good handle on it and seemed to be organized quickly.”
Jerry Strealy, who lives down the block from where the incident unfolded, said there have been numerous police foot chases in the neighborhood in which suspects wound up hiding near his home.
About a year ago, Strealy said his house was surrounded by police as they searched for a suspect.
“I woke up and the guy was standing at my bedroom window,” he said.
Tuesday night he heard at least one loud explosion nearby, most likely the sound of the flash-bang grenades deployed by police.
“I thought a meth lab had blown up,” he said.
— Stuart Tomlinson