The Time Is Now

Support local, independent reporting.

Help the city we love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

JOIN NOW

Grand Jury Finds Portland Police Officer Justified in Fatal Shooting on MAX Tracks

The Multnomah County Grand Jury found Portland Police Officer Samson Ajir to be justified in the May 10 shooting that killed Terrell Kyreem Johnson.

A Multnomah County grand jury found Portland Police Officer Samson Ajir to be justified in the May 10 shooting that killed Terrell Kyreem Johnson.

A bystander called police to report that Johnson, 24, had allegedly been acting erratically and threatening passersby at the Flavel Street Transit Station in Southeast Portland.

When transit officers showed up, Johnson fled and ran onto the tracks of a MAX train line. He then "displayed" a utility knife near Officer Ajir, which prompted him to shoot Johnson, according to police statements about the incident.

Ajir was working on contract for TriMet's transit police that day, but his full-time duties are with the Portland Police Bureau.

The Multnomah County District Attorney's office issued a statement that said "the use of deadly force against Mr. Johnson was a lawful exercise of self-defense under the criminal law." The court will consider releasing transcripts of the grand jury's testimony in early July.

Johnson was the third man shot by Portland police this year. Quanice Hayes, a black 17-year-old and a suspect in an armed robbery, was shot and killed in February. On the same day, Don Perkins, then 56, was shot by police while brandishing two replica guns in an attempted suicide-by-cop. He survived the shooting.

The Portland Police Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether or not Ajir would be placed on active duty after the ruling.