Portland police and prosecutors have released further accounts of the death of an Army veteran shot by police after he fired on them March 4th.
Officers Brad Kula and Michelle Boer told a grand jury they were meeting on the roof of a parking garage in Northeast Portland, when they realized a black sedan had followed them up the ramp. The man who got out of the car took something from his trunk. They got out of their vehicles to approach him. At that point, according to a transcript of grand jury testimony, 31-year-old Santiago Cisneros raised a shotgun, without a word, and started firing.
Chief Mike Reese played police recordings from that night.
Boer’s voice is audible on the recording, “…we need a car, 7th and Lloyd, somebody’s shooting at us!” Kula is later heard,”Shots fired, shots fired, on top of 7th and Lloyd, 7th and Lloyd, shots fired! we’ve got one down…”
Reese said Cisneros’ car was positioned between the two officers. “The subject had five shotgun rounds in the gun. When he pulled the shotgun out of the trunk, he racked a round into of the chamber. We don’t know why. But he’d already had a live round in the chamber, he racked that round out, then began firing in the direction of Officer Boer. He then fired at Officer Kula’s position, so that’s his second round or third round, and then began firing back toward where Officer Boer was at.”
Reese says Cisneros then approached Boer, who’d dropped down for cover behind her car.
“When he came around to where she was at,” Reese said, “he had already emptied his gun. Again, we don’t know if he knew that, we don’t know what his intent was.”
The officers returned fire, Cisneros was shot eight times, mostly in the lower torso. He died after midnight at Emanuel Hospital. Reese estimates the entire exchange lasted perhaps thirty seconds.
Police say they’ve been unable to confirm whether Cisneros, who had served in Iraq, had been diagnosed with PTSD.
His brother and father told the grand jury Cisneros was receiving treatment and had been prescribed medication for the problem.
Another gap in the record pertains to a phone call police say Cisneros made to his mother just before the incident. Detectives say she’s refused to speak to them.