Police: Man shot at hospital used phone receiver to simulate gun - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Man shot at hospital used phone receiver to simulate gun

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Evidence recovered after officer-involved shooting near body of Merle Hatch Evidence recovered after officer-involved shooting near body of Merle Hatch
Mug shots of Merle Hatch Mug shots of Merle Hatch
Surveillance images from two local bank robberies Surveillance images from two local bank robberies
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Police believe a man shot and killed by officers outside the Portland Adventist Medical Center stole a telephone receiver from the hospital, broke it in half and used it to simulate a handgun.

Portland police released new details about Sunday's deadly shooting during a press conference Wednesday night.

Detectives said no weapon was found near Merle Hatch after he was shot and killed. Police now do not believe he ever possessed a handgun during the incident.

Instead, a piece of black plastic approximately 8 inches long and 2 inches wide was found near his body.

Investigators said he used the telephone receiver handle to simulate a handgun when he encountered hospital security at two different times and, later, Portland police officers.

Police also released cell phone video recorded by a neighbor during the altercation between Hatch and police.

Hatch can be heard challenging officers in the recording. He repeatedly said "come on" to the officers, cursed at them and told them to "do something."

"Yeah, you want some? You want to play? Come on," he said.

"I'm going to take hostages," which was followed by expletives.

Toward the end of the nearly three-minute recording, Hatch insulted the officers and made his intentions clear.

"OK, I'm gonna come to you," he said. "I'm coming to you then pig. Let's go. Let's go."

Officers ordered him to stop and put his hands in the air. Hatch is then heard counting to three and that's when shots were fired.

Police said Hatch charged at them, running 65 yards in their direction. He was shot from 14 yards away by the officers.

Investigators said Hatch was released Feb. 12 for a furlough transfer from the Federal Correctional Institute in Sheridan to a halfway house in Denver.

He never showed up and was considered an escapee at 9:01 p.m. Feb. 12.

Portland police describe Hatch as a career criminal with arrests in multiple states.

He has been linked to at least two local bank robberies after being released from the Sheridan prison Feb. 12. The first was the Albina Community Bank at 5636 NE Sandy Blvd. Feb. 13.

On Feb. 15, Clackamas County deputies said Hatch robbed the Wells Fargo at 12072 SE Sunnyside Rd.

The cause of death was confirmed as gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, according to the medical examiner's office.

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