A gun owner in Portland, Oregon, who was carrying his weapon concealed, was fatally shot by police after his gun fell to the ground and he attempted to retrieve it.
Jason Washington, 45, was shot and killed on the Portland State University campus on Friday morning as he attempted to de-escalate a fight which involved a friend of his.
Take a look at the video that was captured.
Now, the video doesn’t give us a lot of details as to why he was shot.
Local NBC affiliate KGW reported;
Witness Keyaira Smith told KGW that a fight had broken out outside the bar and campus officers at first stood by and watched.
The man who died tried to intervene and de-escalate the fight, which involved a friend of his. While doing this, a gun holstered on his hip fell out. He went to pick it up and shots rang out, Smith said.
Additionally, another witness said that Washington did announce that he had a gun and was licensed to carry it (something that should already be recognized by the Second Amendment).
“The guy who got shot was trying to deescalate the situation the whole time,” said witness Patrick Dean. “He was feeling pressed by a bunch of people. He told them I have a gun I’m a licensed carrier.”
It was then reported:
It’s unknown if the deceased man had a registered license to carry a firearm. According to the PSU policy, only law enforcement officers are allowed to carry a firearm on campus. While the Cheerful Tortoise sits in the middle of PSU campus, it is in a privately-owned building.
Apparently, the gun slipped out of his pocket or holster and landed on the ground. When Washington attempted to retrieve it, police told him to “drop the gun.” A few seconds later, they opened fire on him.
A rally was held on Sunday evening that called for disarming the police on campus.
“I want to make sure you heard that it was my little brother who was taken from this planet,” said Andre Washington: “His wife lost a husband, his three daughters lost a father, his granddaughter lost a grandfather, friends lost friends. I graduated from Portland State University and I’m disgusted.”
What’s pretty hypocritical is Portland State University’s statement that claims it “supports the right of individuals and groups to organize and participate in peaceful protests,” but apparently doesn’t support “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Portland State University President Rahmat Shoureshi issued the following statement:
This is the first officer-involved shooting at Portland State, and I have asked our Campus Public Safety Chief to conduct a thorough internal assessment and evaluation of this incident as well as our policies and procedures.
We know that such incidents impact all of us in the PSU community. The Office of the Dean of Student Life and the Office of Human Resources offer support for students, faculty and staff. Here is a summary of resources available:
Campus safety is our top priority at PSU. As you know, we are an urban campus, and that presents challenges. We work hard to provide an environment at PSU that is safe and welcoming.
We will continue to work with the Portland Police Bureau to communicate developments in the investigation and keep you informed.
The officers involved in the shooting, Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey, have been serving since 2016. They have been placed on paid administrative leave per university policies, according to President Shoureshi.
Those with information that might shed more light on the investigation of the shooting are encouraged by Portland Police to contact Portland Police Bureau Detective Division Homicide Detail Detective Scott Broughton at 503-823-3774 or Scott.Broughton@portlandoregon.gov or Detective Rico Beniga at 503-823-0457 or Rico.Beniga@portlandoregon.gov.
Granted, it’s early morning, a gun is on the ground in the midst of scuffle and someone picks it up. I can certainly understand a police officer’s concern in such a situation, but perhaps if we got to the root of the issue, and that is the ban of firearms on campus, we might stop such things. After all, an armed society is a polite society. Perhaps this fight would have never started if there was the consideration that the person you were about to entice to a fight had a gun.
While the campus wants to recognize a right to assemble for peaceful protests, why don’t they have the same attitude towards students’ rights to keep and bear arms?
Brandon Curtis at Concealed Nation provided some thoughts on what to do in such a situation.
As for now, it can be a sticky situation when involving yourself –armed– into a fight, especially when police are just feet away.
One thing is for certain; it’s never wise to reach for your firearm in the presence of a police officer. If it falls out of the holster, let it fall. Inform police immediately that you are licenced [sic] to carry and let them handle things from there. They don’t know who you are and in this case, have walked up to a fight between multiple people on the street.
Those are wise words, but what would be even wiser would be to stop the infringement upon the students’ rights at the university. As a final note, I have never known a responsible gun owner who has dropped his gun on the ground. That’s just plain incompetence. Responsible gun owners don’t do that.