Portland police ID officer, man fatally shot in Lents Parks
The Portland police officer who killed a man reportedly carrying a replica firearm in Lents Park on Friday, April 16, has been identified.
He is Officer Zachary Delong, an eight-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau assigned to East Precinct. Delong remains on administrative leave during the investigation into the shooting as per bureau policy.
On Saturday, police also ID'd the man who was fatally shot by police as 46-year-old Robert Douglas Delgado.
Portland Police say they responded to the park following reports of an "adult white male pointing a gun," though sources told The Oregonian only a fake, replica firearm with an orange tip was recovered from the scene.
Delgado was listed as homeless and as camping in the Lents area, according to a court record from December, 2020.
Police also clarified that social media reports regarding a man in the area experiencing a mental health crisis refer to two separate incidents.
Detectives say 911 calls regarding a white man with no shirt on standing in the road near Lents Park and trying to "hit passings cars with a trash can" came in around 8:16 a.m. on Friday morning, leading to a welfare check by officers who assisted the 32-year-old man into an ambulance for treatment of a possible drug overdose.
Police say that man was uninjured, not related to the subsequent shooting of Delgado, and not charged with a crime.
Officer Zachary Delong, also spelled DeLong, is the son of Officer Mark DeLong, who served with both the Portland and Gresham police agencies, according to a 2015 report in the Gresham Outlook.
"Shortly after I retired, I handed my son his Portland police badge. It was my proudest moment as a police officer," Mark DeLong told the paper. "Then he started telling me war stories and I thought, you know what, I need to go back to work and keep up with him."
Delong was also featured in a 2016 History Channel documentary describing his serivce as a U.S Army Ranger deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, according to Willamette Week.
The investigation is being conducted by the bureau, the East County Major Crimes Team, and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office.
No officers were injured and there are no known additional injured people.
The shooting sparked a protest at the park and two protests downtown, one of which police declared a riot after windows were broken and fires were set.
As part of the use of force review process, the bureau also will conduct an internal review of the incident, and the case will go before the Police Review Board, which is composed of community members, bureau members and representatives from the Independent Police Review Division.
Once the entire investigation and legal process is complete, the investigative files and any grand jury transcripts will be posted on the bureau's Open Data page.
"These are difficult circumstances for everyone involved and none of us want this outcome when we go about our daily work. Investigating an officer use of deadly force is among the most important things we do, and it's critical that we take the time to do it right. I appreciate our community giving us the patience and time to get the whole picture about what took place. I pledge that we will release more information as the investigation proceeds," said Acting Chief Chris Davis.
Police Chief Chuck Lovell is on vacation and out of town.
According to police, the incident began at about 9:30 a.m. April 16 when East Precinct officers responded to a call at Lents Park regarding an adult white male pointing a gun. Lents Park is located at 4727 S.E. 92nd Ave.
Officers arrived and contacted a subject in the park, police said. During the encounter, less-lethal 40 mm and lethal rounds were deployed. Two officers deployed 40 mm rounds and one officer used lethal force.
Medical personnel were staged nearby. Officers provided emergency medical aid, but the male subject was pronounced dead at the scene.
Reporter Zane Sparling contributed to this story.
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