Gunman Who Said He Wanted to Die Killed By Police Fire
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A gunman who said he wanted to die took two women hostage Saturday in a crowded discount store and wounded two officers before he was killed by police.
The man released one hostage about 90 minutes after jumping a bank counter in the store. He shot at police when officers tried to rescue the second hostage, who was six months pregnant, and officers returned fire and killed him.
The hostages, who worked at Pacific First Bank, were not harmed. Both officers were hospitalized, with one listed in fair condition and the other in good condition.
Police identified the hostages as Michelle Ulloa, 22, of Portland, and Stacey Marie Hunter, 22, of Vancouver, Wash. Ulloa, who is pregnant, was taken to Portland Adventist Hospital, where hospital spokesman Marshall Woolner reported she was distraught but not hurt.
The officers, Stan Grubbs, 35, and Howard ″Doc″ Savage, 41, were taken to Emanuel Hospital & Health Center. Hospital spokesman Ken Strobeck said Savage was in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the hip. Grubbs was in good condition with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, Strobeck said.
Police identified the gunman as Michael Henry, 19, who they said had moved to Portland from Florida just a week ago.
Police said Henry’s mother, who lives in Portland, arrived at the scene about the time of the shootout. Her name was not immediately available.
At least 300 people were evacuated from the sprawling Fred Meyer Gateway store soon after the ordeal began about 2 p.m. The gunman was killed 3 hours later.
Randy Croucher, who works at the store, said he saw customers run from the bank as the two women were taken hostage.
″The customers went poof. Everyone went running down the hallway,″ he said.
The gunman spoke briefly by telephone to The Associated Press from inside the northeast Portland store before he freed the first hostage. He said he wanted to die in a shootout with police because he didn’t have the courage to kill himself.
He refused to give his name and said he intended to release the hostages after a couple of hours, then come out shooting. He said he was 18 years old.
Police had been negotiating with the gunman by telephone, but police spokesman Derrick Foxworth refused to discuss any demands.
He said the decision to rush the bank and free the second hostage was a judgment call.
″All I can say is the decision was based on developments,″ he said. ″We have to take it on a case-by-case basis; we have to look at the conditions, and the hostages.″
Police in Sacramento stormed an electronics store on April 4 in which four gunmen held more than 40 people hostage after the gunmen began shooting hostages. Three of the gunmen and three hostages were killed and the other gunman and 11 hostages were wounded.
About two hours into the Portland standoff, a shot was heard from the bank, but the man apparently fired accidentally, Foxworth said.
The gunman said he was armed with a .357-caliber Magnum revolver loaded with hollow point bullets. He did not say how many people were taken hostage.
The gunman said he took the hostages because he wanted to ″show the system up.″ He said he had been sexually abused by his parents as a child and placed in foster homes but the system failed to bring his parents to justice.