Grand jury: Police justified in shooting at shelter
A Multnomah County Grand Jury has ruled that police were justified in the fatal shooting of John Elifritz during a confronation in a homeless shelter in southeast Portland on April 7.
"The Portland Police Bureau remains committed to transparency and sharing all available information with the community," Chief Danielle Outlaw said after the decision was announced late Wednesday. "We ask that community members be patient as all of the reports and video files are prepared for public release."
Elifritz died after a crime spree that started with a carjacking on that Saturday afternoon. He later crashed the stolen car near the Cityteam Ministries Portland Shelter on Southeast Grand, police say, which he ran into.
According to grand jury testimony, witnesses said Elifritz had a knife and lunged at police before they opened fire on him. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office says the grand jury heard four days of testimony.
Five officers and a Multnomah County Sheriff's deputy who were involved in the shooting are expected to return to duty. They are:
• Portland officer Kameron Fender, an eight-year-veteran
• Portland officer Alexandru Martiniuc, a six-year-veteran
• Portland officer Bradley Nutting, an 11-year-veteran
• Portland officer Chad Phifer, a 10-year-veteran
• Portland officer Andrew Polas, a 14-year-veteran
• Deputy Aaron Sieczkowski, a six-year-veteran of the Sheriff's Office
Several groups have rallied since the shooting, arguing that money should be poured into mental health care rather than the police bureau.
Portland says the bureau is continuing to conduct an internal review of the entire incident. Once the internal review is complete, the case will be presented to the Police Review Board, which is comprised of community members, bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division. The bureau expects this review to be complete within the next 90 days.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can see their story at www.koin.com/news/local/multnomah-county/grand-jury-police-justified-in-shooting-at-shelter/1170418721.