Police release witness video, more details about man shot outside hospital
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Merle Hatch did not have a gun when he was shot by police.
50-year-old Merle Hatch did not have a gun when he was shot and killed by police Sunday night at Portland Adventist Medical Center. Instead, he had a black plastic telephone receiver that police say he used to to simulate possession of a gun when he allegedly threatened staff at the Southeast Portland hospital.
The new details in the officer-involved shooting case were revealed late Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at police headquarters in downtown Portland.
Police also released video recorded during the confrontation between officers and Hatch.
WARNING: The man yelling in the video - who police say is Hatch - is shouting expletives. The video ends with loud gunfire audio that may frighten young viewers.
In the video, the man police say is Hatch is yelling expletives, apparently challenging police to come out toward him.
Police also released recordings of police communicating with emergency dispatchers. Click here to listen. Click Here to see images from surveillance cameras at the bank and hospital.
Investigators believe Hatch robbed two banks last week. One was in Clackamas County.
"Portland Police Bureau robbery detectives have also determined Hatch was involved in a bank robbery last week in Northeast Portland," said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the bureau. "The robbery occurred on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 2:41 p.m. at the Albina Community Bank on N.E. Sandy Blvd."
On Tuesday, investigators released details about Hatch's lengthy criminal history of arrests and charges for a number of crimes ranging for DUI to assault to homicide.
The three officers put on leave during the investigation were scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday. The Multnomah County District Attorney will call a grand jury to review the evidence and determine if lethal use of force by the police was warranted. The bureau will release more information following the grand jury. The case will also go before the bureau's Use of Force Review Board.