Agencies: Portland Police Bureau Oregon
Last updated: about 1 month ago
Police were called to the Flavel Street Transit Station Wednesday night for a report of a man acting erratically and threatening people.
Officials say Johnson then took off when police responded, first running westbound on Flavel and then eastbound, before getting on the MAX tracks and running over Johnson Creek.
Portland Police Officer Samson Ajir was closing in on Johnson when the man displayed a utility knife, police said. Officer Ajir fired his handgun several times, hitting Johnson. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Friday morning, Amanda Gerace looked over her front yard garden, and remembered all the times Johnson would come ask her about her growing crops.
"He had a lot of curiosity, which I always thought was really sweet," Gerace said.
Johnson was killed about a mile from his childhood home in Southeast Portland.
"It just makes it really, really, really real. You just realize that it happens way too often," Gerace said. "It's not just something that happens to other people. It happens really, really close to home."
Police say Johnson had been dealing with drug addiction, and that may have contributed to a decline in his recent mental health.
"We heard he was having problems, I didn't think it was anything to that extent," said Dale Bailey, who lived across the street from where Johnson grew up.
A grand jury will determine if the Portland Police officer was justified in the shooting Johnson.
Even the immediate wake of his death, the people who saw him grow up are left remembering his youth.
"He always just had a warmth about him that I appreciated," Gerace said.