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A Navy Vet Was Shot And Killed By Oregon Campus Police While Trying To Break Up A Fight
A Portland man fatally shot early Friday outside a sports bar near Portland State University in Oregon by campus police officers was a U.S. postal worker and father of three daughters who served in the Navy and married his high school sweetheart, friends say.
They identified the man as Jason E. Washington, 45. Friend Alyssa LeCesne said Washington was also a grandfather to a 5-year-old girl who "hero worshipped the ground he walked on." She described him as a Franklin High School graduate and an upstanding man who was proud to have helped raise a household full of women.
Washington and his family came back from a trip to Mexico earlier this week, she said.
"There are a lot of people in Portland grieving right now," LeCesne said.
Police have not yet released Washington's name, nor any details of the circumstances that led to his death.
Two Portland State University police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after at least one of them opened fire near The Cheerful Tortoise along Southwest Sixth Avenue around 1:30 a.m.
The officers have been identified as Officer Shawn McKenzie, who has been with the campus public safety office since 2002, and Officer James Dewey, who's been there since 2014. Both became armed sworn officers in 2016. The school's board of trustees voted to allow their campus officers to carry firearms two years earlier.
McKenzie and Dewey were near the bar at 1939 S.W. Sixth Avenue around 1:30 a.m. when they noticed a fight, Portland police said. At some point, at least one of the officers shot a man who was at the scene.
LeCesne and Mike Joseph, another friend and former co-worker of Washington's, said Washington wasn't involved in the fight and was trying to break it up.
A witness also told Oregon Public Broadcasting that the man wasn't fighting and was shot after a holstered handgun he was carrying fell onto the ground and he appeared to be trying to pick it up.
After the officers yelled that there was a gun, there was no apparent hesitation before the gunfire, the witness said.
The fight started because one man used racial slurs when speaking to another man, said the witness, who provided video of the altercation leading up to the shots being fired.
Mike Joseph, another friend and former co-worker of Washington's, said Washington was at the bar with friends, celebrating the Oregon State University baseball team winning the College World Series. He had a concealed carry permit for his handgun, Joseph said.
"I saw the video, and there is no way he should have been shot," Joseph said. "I wish he didn't have a gun on him, because this probably wouldn't have happened if he didn't."
Joseph said Washington was well-liked and everyone he's spoken to about the shooting is furious about his death, "especially after seeing the video."
"It's just a really unfortunate situation," said Donald Dietz, 25, an employee at the Cheerful Tortoise who witnessed the shooting. He had asked a co-worker to call the police when he saw a conflict inside the bar escalate and move outside.
He was only a few feet away when the man was shot.
"The unfortunate situation is he was trying to help and break things up," Dietz said of the man who was shot.
Dietz recalled the man reaching for his gun after police told him three or four times not to.
"They warned him multiple times not to reach for it, but he did," Dietz said. "I don't want the message out there that the cops were trigger-happy."
Dietz said employees at the Cheerful Tortoise did everything they could to stop the situation from escalating like it did.
"It's just that people got drunk and stubborn," he added.
"They had to do it," he said of the officers involved. "People think they were overzealous, but they had to do it."
Portland State University President Rahman Shoureshi said he's asked the campus public safety chief to have an internal review of the shooting, as well as the school's policy and procedures.
"Campus safety is our top priority at PSU," Shoureshi said in a statement. "As you know, we are an urban campus, and that presents challenges."
He said the school tries to provide a "safe and welcoming" environment on campus. The Portland Police Bureau is investigating the shooting.
The Portland State University Student Union said it was mourning the death of the man shot by police and noted the arming of campus officers occurred amid opposition from students. The group said Friday that it will continue to push for campus police to not carry guns.
©2018 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
An Air Force major drowned in a Caribbean Princess cruise ship pool Friday morning, the Broward Medical Examiner's Office said
Stephen Osakue, 37, worked for the Air Force as a research pharmacist, according to a statement by the Medical Examiner's Office on Monday. Osakue was based at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.
As the US sends 1,000 more troops to Middle East, the Pentagon is a rudderless ship caught in a storm
The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.
While the U.S. government has publicly blamed Iran for recent attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Oman, not a single U.S. official has provided a shred of proof linking Iran to the explosive devices found on the merchant ships.
At an off-camera briefing on Monday, Navy officials acknowledged that nothing in imagery released by the Pentagon shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards planting limpet mines on ships in the Gulf of Oman.
Investigation shows Lt. Col. in charge of Corps' 1st Recon was fired for alleged 'misconduct' but has not been charged
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.