Grand jury rules deadly police shooting at hospital justified - KPTV - FOX 12

Grand jury rules deadly police shooting at hospital justified

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Merle Hatch Merle Hatch

A grand jury has determined that Portland police officers were justified using deadly force against a suspect outside a local hospital.

Merle Hatch was shot and killed Feb. 17 in the Portland Adventist Medical Center parking lot.

Investigators said he stole a telephone receiver from the hospital, broke it in half and used it to simulate a handgun as he challenged officers at the scene.

Police said Hatch was a career criminal in multiple states who was released a week earlier 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.

He was connected to at least three bank robberies in the Portland area between Feb. 12 and Feb. 15.

The grand jury returned a not true bill in the suspect's death on Wednesday. The grand jury determined the shooting was justified under criminal law.

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