Fatal shooting at Cheerful Tortoise near PSU campus

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The Cheerful Tortoise on SW 6th Avenue. Roosevelt Sowka/PSU Vanguard

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a fatal shooting involving Portland State campus police officers near the campus early on the morning of Friday, June 29. They said one suspect was killed.

PPB officers were dispatched at approximately 1:30 a.m. to a report of an officer-involved shooting outside the Cheerful Tortoise bar near SW Broadway and SW College St., according to a PPB press release. Officers contacted CPSO and arrived at the scene to find a man—who police referred to as a suspect—lying on the ground. Emergency medical responders rendered aid but determined the man to be deceased at the scene.

Police said responding officers did not believe any other officers or civilians had been injured.

KGW reported witnesses said CPSO had responded to a fight that had broken out outside the bar. When the suspect—reportedly a friend of one of the parties involved in the fight—attempted to intervene, witnesses said a gun fell out of a holster on his hip and shots were fired. It is unclear who fired the deadly shots.

In an email addressed to the campus community, PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi noted that the incident was the first officer-involved shooting since the PSU Board of Trustees authorized the deployment of armed campus police officers in 2015.

The two officers involved in the shooting, Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey, have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation in accordance with university policy. The university has stated it will not be doing interviews or releasing any further information regarding the investigation at this point.

PPB Homicide detectives will lead the investigation on the shooting, interview witnesses and review cell phone and surveillance videos of the incident in the coming days. PPB Public Information Officer Chris Burley said anyone with video of the incident or information on the shooting should contact Detective Scott Broughton at 503-823-3774 or Detective Rico Beniga at 503-823-0457.

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Fiona Spring
I am a fourth-year student in the University Honors College studying political science and Arabic. I started with Vanguard in August 2017 as a reporter for the international section before becoming international editor at the beginning of this year. I have been working with the news team since spring 2018. As news editor, I am responsible for curating, editing and reporting on content relating to the goings-on of PSU and its surrounding area while working with a team of reporters to accurately and responsibly inform the campus community.

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