PORTLAND, Ore. — An investigation into the deadly shooting of 46-year-old Robert Delgado by Portland Police at Lents Park two weeks ago has been opened by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and Oregon’s Attorney General.
Delgado was reportedly doing quick draws with a gun that turned out to be a replica when officers responded to the park around 9:30 on the morning of Friday, April 16th. Less lethal rounds were fired before Officer Zachary Delong, an 8-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, fired the deadly shot. Delgado is on administrative leave until investigations are complete. No officers were injured.
Related | Police Dispatch Audio Reveals More About Deadly Lents Shooting
“These are difficult circumstances for everyone involved and none of us want this outcome when we go about our daily work,” said Acting Chief Chris Davis. “Investigating an officer use of deadly force is among the most important things we do, and it’s critical that we take the time to do it right. I appreciate our community giving us the patience and time to get the whole picture about what took place. I pledge that we will release more information as the investigation proceeds.”
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum will assign an Assistant Attorney General to work with two Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys to oversee the criminal investigation.
“Both District Attorney (Mike) Schmidt and Attorney General Rosenblum recognize the importance of always maintaining actual and perceived prosecutorial legitimacy and fairness,” a joint statement reads.
Once the investigation is complete, the case will be referred to prosecutors. A grand jury is expected to convene to determine whether the officer’s use of deadly force was legal under Oregon law.
A hostile crowd estimated at around 100 people gathered facing off with police at the scene. They tore down crime scene tape, threw items at officers and tried to take an officer’s baton. Police responded with pepper spray, smoke canisters and a rubber ball distraction device. A briefing was moved away from the park due to security reasons.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released the following statement: “These shootings always are traumatic for everyone involved and for our community, regardless of the circumstances. I want to offer my sympathy to the individual involved and to their family. My thoughts also are with the officers who were involved. I visited the scene this morning to show respect for the individual, their family, the officers, and our community. I received a preliminary briefing and will continue to receive updates as information becomes available. I recognize why people are concerned and possibly angry. While our understanding of this incident evolves, I urge everyone to proceed with empathy and peace.”