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Wounded officer downplays hero talk

by: KOIN NEWS 6 - Portland Police officer John Romero shot and killed Kelly Swoboda outside Wilson High School in March.The officer who shot and killed wanted sex-offender Kelly Swoboda at Wilson High School is back at work on light duty.

Portland Police officer John Romero is hailed as a hero after taking a bullet in the line of duty in March.

Romero works as a school resource officer at Wison High School, where students noticed Swoboda’s suspicious looking van.

Romero said he approached Swoboda near the school, who had his hands in his pockets.

“As soon as he saw me draw my gun, he stood up and started shooting at me,” said Romero, who said he reacted in less than three seconds.

Romero, who was only hit with one bullet, said he could feel the blood dripping down his gun.

“I’m mainly focused on this person pulled a gun on me and tried to kill me,” he said.

At that time, Swoboda was wanted in the kidnapping and assault of a 23-year-old woman who worked in a salon.

Investigators said Swoboda bound her with duct tape and hit her with the butt-end of his pistol before she escaped by jumping out of the van.

Inside Swoboda’s van — what Portland Police have dubbed a “rolling dungeon” — police found chains, zipties and pornographic movies.

Monday, a Multnomah County grand jury released documents showing Swoboda would take notes on girls he stalked, including their descriptions and license plate numbers.

Romero said he is glad he stopped Swoboda, if kidnapping one of the female students was his plan.

Although students at Wilson High School and members of the community call Romero a hero, he disagrees.

“I don’t consider myself a hero, I am police officer that did his job,” said Romero.