Portland police name officer who killed alleged car jacker on Interstate 5

By Courtney Sherwood (OPB) and Jonathan Levinson (OPB)
Dec. 6, 2021 7:08 p.m. Updated: Dec. 7, 2021 10:15 p.m.

The Portland Police Bureau announced Tuesday that officer John Hughes shot and killed a person on Interstate 5 in North Portland on Monday morning, after an alleged armed robbery and multiple car jackings, according to law enforcement.


Hughes has worked with the Portland Police Bureau for 17 years. He is currently on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.

Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Lt. Nathan Sheppard said the person police shot had allegedly committed several car jackings over the course of 30 to 40 minutes, including one that prompted the police shooting.

“Officers found the vehicle and were following it when it went on to I-5 southbound the wrong direction,” Sheppard said. “The suspect got out of his vehicle and attempted another car jacking.”

In the course of that final car jacking, the person shot an occupant of the vehicle, prompting police to shoot and kill the suspect, according to Sheppard.


He said the injured vehicle occupant was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police got the call about the car jackings just before 10 a.m. Monday, and Sheppard said there are multiple crime scenes across North and Northeast Portland.

Interstate 5 near Rosa Parks Way in North Portland was closed in both directions for close to seven hours as police investigated the shooting. By 5:30 p.m., traffic was reopened in both directions.

Police said they are seeking the public’s assistance gathering information on the person who was killed, though the agency had not named that person as of Tuesday afternoon.

A woman who lives in one of the encampments next to the freeway told OPB she heard the shooting and saw a woman with children running away from the freeway. She said the woman appeared to be injured in her gut.

Police Chief Chuck Lovell said Monday afternoon he and Mayor Ted Wheeler were at the crime scene and that he was grateful the incident wasn’t worse.

Traffic maps Monday showed significant backups on I-5 that spilled onto nearly roads in North Portland, and largescale backups on Interstate 205, where drivers crossing between Oregon and Washington were re-routed by the Washington State Department of Transportation. WSDOT said backups on I-205 were 10 miles during early rush hour traffic.

Hughes was named in a 2007 federal civil rights lawsuit alleging he used his taser against Christophe Clay who was passively resisting Hughes at the time. The city paid $56,306 to settle that lawsuit.