After a delay, the Portland Police Bureau has released the names of the eight officers involved in a deadly weekend shooting at a homeless shelter in Southeast Portland.
The bureau has said that seven officers and one Multnomah County deputy were involved in the shooting, although investigators have not said who fired nonlethal objects at John Elifritz and who fired the live rounds that killed him.
The officers include: Officer Richard Bailey, a two-year-veteran of the Portland Police Bureau; Officer Justin Damerville, a seven-year PPB veteran; Officer Kameron Fender, an eight-year PPB veteran; Officer Alexandru Martiniuc, a six-year PPB veteran; Officer Bradley Nutting, an 11-year PPB veteran; Officer Chad Phifer, a 10-year PPB veteran; Officer Andrew Polas, a 14-year PPB veteran; and Deputy Aaron Sieczkowski, a six-year veteran of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
All eight have been placed on paid administrative leave for their involvement in the Saturday incident that left Elifritz, 48, dead.
At least four of the officers have made news previously for on-duty incidents. Polas was involved in the shooting death of Keaton Otis in 2010 during a traffic stop. A grand jury decided not to charge Polas and the other officers involved in that shooting.
In 2014, Damerville made news after arresting a homeless woman for spitting.
Nutting drew attention that same year after he used a Taser on a Portland bicyclist six times within 15 seconds. The police chief at the time found that Nutting’s use of force was necessary, but the City Council later voted 3-2 to overturn that decision.
And Phifer’s work in a 2010 case was cited in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation that found a pattern of excessive use of force by Portland Police Bureau, particularly with people suffering from mental health problems.
Phifer and another officer were found to have used a Taser and punched an unarmed man after being called to help mental health workers evaluate him.
Saturday night’s shooting will be considered by police investigators and a criminal grand jury.
The eight officers were responding Saturday to reports that Elifritz had stolen a car by force Saturday before entering the shelter. A video posted on social media appears to show the officers entering and shooting across the room at Elifritz. Elifritz is seen falling to the ground after shots were fired.
Elifritz interacted with police multiple times Saturday before he was shot. He called 911 earlier in the day to report that his family had been murdered, the beginning of a long and confusing few hours in which Elifritz appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis.
The bureau’s Detective Divisions Homicide Detail and the East County Major Crimes teams are investigating the shooting.
Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, declined to comment and declined to explain how investigations into officer-involved shootings work. Turner said all investigations are different in circumstance, adding he doesn’t want to compromise the ongoing work.
The police bureau initially pledged to announce the names of the involved officers on Sunday night, but delayed the release citing “threats made regarding their safety.” At least two threats were made. The bureau says it worked to determine if any actual threats existed but “could not locate any credible information.”
Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said Tuesday his office has been briefed on Saturday’s shooting, per the terms of the city’s 2012 settlement with the federal government over that excessive force investigation.
On April 19, the city and federal government are set to appear in federal court to discuss the settlement’s status with a judge. Though the status conference was set up before Saturday’s shooting, it’s possible the Elifritz shooting could come up.