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Grand jury: Fairview officer justified in shooting of suspect

A Multnomah County grand jury ruled on Thursday that Fairview Police Officer Brian Gerkman was justified in using deadly force against a man he shot and wounded during a welfare check at a Fairivew apartment on Dec. 3.

Gerkman shot 23-year-old Tyler Brown three times in the torso after he allegedly lunged at the officer with a large kitchen knife.

The jury indicted Brown, a resident of Federal Way, Wash., on a charge of attempted assault.

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Brown was visiting an apartment at the Fairview Oaks-Wood Apartment complex.

Around 3 a.m. Gerkman responded to a call of an individual who was acting strangely, either as result of mental health issues or drugs, said Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy Pete Reed and Deputy Kevin Baird also were called to assist, the chief said.

Brown answered the door and let Gerkman and the two deputies into the apartment, Johnson said.

As police were assessing the situation, Brown disappeared into the small kitchen and grabbed a large kitchen knife, the chief said.

Gerkman drew his duty weapon and ordered Brown to drop the knife, Johnson said.

The chief said Brown lunged while “holding the knife in a threatening manner.”

Gerkman shot the man three times in the torso, seriously injuring him.

Brown was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Brown's grandfather said his grandson required a ventilator to breathe while he was in intensive care.

According to a receptionist at the hospital, Brown has been discharged.

Gerkman was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.

Gerkman, 24, hired by Fairview in February 2012, was involved in another shooting in November.

The rookie officer fired his weapon at a driver who allegedly tried to run him over in an attempt to elude police during a traffic stop.

Gerkman’s bullet bounced off the driver’s windshield. The driver was later arrested after crashing his car into another police vehicle, injuring an officer.

Following the incident, Gerkman was placed on standard administrative leave.

A grand jury and police review later found he was justified in his use of force and Gerkman was returned to duty.



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