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Shots fired in West Linn mental health issue

Resident imagined he was victim of a home invasion


When shots were fired in West Linn Tuesday morning, Lake Oswego police responded to a home invasion call that wasn’t.

West Linn police report several shots were fired by a 28-year-old man suffering a mental health crisis who was locked in a closet with his pug. That home invasion robbery call was placed by the same man at roughly 6:30 a.m., who was in a state of extreme distress.

Dispatchers stayed on the line with the distressed man while an increasingly large police presence descended on the apartment complex near Highway 43 in West Linn.

The dispatcher realized the source of the gunshots was the same person on the line, and kept him calm even after he fired shots, said West Linn Sgt. Neil Hennelly.

Meanwhile, police surrounded the apartment and while officers tried to determine what was going on, they heard several shots.

“He imagined that there were people breaking into his home and armed himself and fired off numerous handgun rounds,” Hennelly said. “Because we weren’t getting any other calls from other neighbors about a home invasion, we started to think it was a mental health issue.”

Remarkably, no one was injured and police said they do try to practice compassion during mental health crises.

“They are phenominal dispatchers who did a great job,” said Hennelly.

There were no residents in the house, no major damage and only one round went through the neighboring apartment.

“This could have gone 100 different ways,” Hennelly said.

The man came out of the house voluntarily and was taken into protective custody. Police said the man does have a criminal history and may face criminal charges, but whether they are laid or not depends on the district attorney’s office.

“Our bigger concern right now is getting him the help he needs,” Hennelly said.



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