News | Local

Man Shot In Confrontation With Portland Police Was A Fugitive

OPB | Feb. 19, 2013 12:38 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 4:10 p.m. | Portland, OR

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Federal officials have identified the man shot by Portland police at Adventist Medical Center Sunday night as Merle Hatch.

Eric Wahlstrom is a supervisory deputy U.S. Marshal. He says Hatch had served more than 10 years for bank robbery.

Wahlstrom says Hatch was supposed to end his time in custody by transitioning from the Federal Corrections Institution at Sheridan to a residential half-way house.

Merle Hatch was convicted of bank robbery in 2004. Portland Police have identified him as the man shot in a confrontation at Adventist Medical Center late Sunday.

Merle Hatch was convicted of bank robbery in 2004. Portland Police have identified him as the man shot in a confrontation at Adventist Medical Center late Sunday.

courtesy of the Portland Police Bureau

“He was released through FCI Sheridan,” Wahlstrom explained, “and was going through a transition period to a center in Denver, Colorado. He was supposed to board a flight from Portland to Colorado on the 12th.”

But Hatch never made the flight, so his name was listed as “escaped.”

Wahlstrom says Hatch was not considered dangerous, at the time the notice went out. But, he says, a lot could have happened in a few days.

A police autopsy report says Hatch died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Later Tuesday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said it had worked with Portland Police to identify Hatch as the suspect in a Wells Fargo bank robbery in Clackamas on Friday. 

Detectives used surveillance video to identify Hatch.

On the Web

Portland Police press release

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