Suspect shot and killed by police after attempted helicopter the - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspect shot and killed by police after attempted helicopter theft at Hillsboro Airport

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Officers with the Hillsboro Police Department shot and killed a suspect after they said he tried to hijack a helicopter and fired a gun at the Hillsboro Airport Monday morning.

Witnesses said the suspect climbed over a fence at the airport then tried to steal a helicopter while an airport employee and his friend were inside of it.

Christopher Neal, the Director of Public Safety and Security for the Port of Portland, was at the airport with his family and witnessed the beginning of the chaos.

“As we were doing that, the suspect then came from across the street onto the sidewalk, and as he was coming by he had on a gray hoodie, and I thought for a minute, ‘It's kind of hot to have this hoodie on,’” Neal said. “As he goes by, he looks directly at me and as soon as he turns he puts the gray mask over his face and he ran straight to the fence.”

Neal noted that the suspect then climbed the barbwire-topped fence to get onto the airfield, at which point Hillsboro police said the suspect went up to the helicopter.

Investigators said the suspect threatened the two people inside of the aircraft with a gun and fired at least one shot that did not hit anyone. The people inside ran from the helicopter and the suspect climbed inside.

Officers arrived before he could take off, though, so he instead fled the scene on foot. He was eventually shot and killed by Hillsboro police in a field across the street the airport, right next to a Comfort Inn.

Police haven’t said if the suspect fired any shots at officers. Department officials said one officer is on leave following the shooting, which is standard procedure. They also confirmed that no one else was hurt during the incident.

Neal said what he saw happened in a matter of seconds, and he’s just happy everyone, including his family, is safe.

“I am blessed,” he said. “The Lord above took care of us today, I know that, because he was 10 feet from us and looked right at us.”

Investigators said it is still unclear what the suspect intended to do with that helicopter.

The Port of Portland released a statement on the shooting Monday afternoon thanking the police and stating that their airport had resumed operations.

“The Port of Portland is grateful for the quick and professional response of the Hillsboro police department.  The Hillsboro police are leading the investigation into the incident.  The Hillsboro Airport has resumed airport operations.”

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