PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Police had previous contact with a man killed in an officer-involved shooting over the weekend, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Koben S. Henriksen, 51, was shot and killed by officers while armed with a knife Sunday near Southeast 103rd Drive and Stark Street.
Police said less-lethal and lethal rounds were fired by the officers during the confrontation. The less-lethal force was described by police as a “tool that launches foam-tipped projectiles designed to impact a subject from a distance.”
On Thursday, the police bureau detailed two previous encounters between officers and Henriksen. The encounters occurred within three months of each other. In both cases, mental health appears to have played a role, according to law enforcement.
Officers first contacted Henriksen at Portland Adventist Academy on Aug. 22.
Henriksen told a responding officer that he was glad the officer was there because he needed someone to kill him, and he thought a police officer was the best option. He told the officer he had tried to get several military veterans to buy guns for him, but was not successful.
The officer eventually requested an ambulance and put a police officer hold on Henriksen.
On Nov. 14, Henriksen while draped in a large blanket approached and yelled at one of two officers while they were getting into a patrol car near the 10200 block of Southeast Stark Street.
When the officer responded, Henriksen flung the blanket away and extended two knives, one in each hand, toward the officer. Henriksen then threatened to kill the officer and stepped toward him.
More units were called to the scene while officers attempted to de-escalate the situation. After some discussion, Henriksen threw the knifes on the ground, according to police.
Henriksen was again placed on a police officer hold and hospitalized for treatment.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Friday that the mental health system failed Henriksen.
“All of us including Mr. Henriksen’s family, the officers involved and the community at large wish it had ended differently, I have no doubt of that, but it didn't and now it’s our obligation to be as thorough as possible to find out why and to report back to the community what we learn,” Wheeler said.
Multnomah County also released a statement saying, “It is a tragedy anytime anyone in crisis dies in our community. Every one of us has people we know who struggle with mental health challenges. Multnomah County will wait for the official review on the death of Koben Henriksen to bear out the facts. Ultimately, anyone experiencing a mental health crisis should not have to face a violent death at the hands of law enforcement. The County is actively working to provide other options locally for these situations because even if our mental health system were fully-funded, people are still going to experience crisis in public. We can, and we must, do better.”
Police have not released any additional details about the officer-involved shooting Sunday afternoon.
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