Officer, suspect identified in Tuesday shooting
Portland police shot a man near downtown Portland late Tuesday, July 20.
The Portland Police Bureau identified him as Joshua Lyle Merritt, 32. He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing.
The officer has been identified as Craig Lehman, an 8.8 year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau. He is on paid administrative leave per bureau policies while the investigation is conducted.
According to the bureau, officers were dispatched to a convenience store at the 600 block of Northwest Naito Parkway at 9:44 p.m. on July 20. Prior to arriving, officers were told a white adult man had taken food without paying, then laid down on the floor and refused to leave.
Less than 10 minutes after police arrived at the scene, at 9:52 p.m., at least one shot was fired. No officers were injured, but the suspect was struck.
Police have not given any details of what led up to an officer firing his gun.
Several minutes were spent attempting to reach the suspect, who had gone further into the convenience store, police said. Officers were able to get to him by 9:56 p.m. and medical aid was rendered.
The man was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening wound, the bureau said.
The involved officer's name will be released on Wednesday, July 21, which is standard protocol. The officer will remain on paid administrative leave until the investigation is over.
"This is a situation that no officer wants to face. We are in the preliminary stages but will conduct a thorough investigation," Chief Chuck Lovell said. "I want to thank everyone who responded to the scene as well as those who were out taking emergency calls in the city."
According to the bureau, Lovell personally notified Mayor Ted Wheeler of the shooting. Wheeler's chief of staff was later at the scene.
This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is available.
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