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US Navy vet, father of three killed by police while trying to break up fight

A Navy veteran was killed by campus police while trying to help break up a fight. (ABC News/YouTube)
July 02, 2018

A U.S. Navy veteran and father of three who was trying to break up a fight outside a sports bar fatally shot by Portland State University campus police on Friday.

Jason Washington, 45, a U.S. Postal Service worker from Portland, was a licensed gun owner with a concealed carry permit, MSN reported.

He was carrying his firearm, which fell out of its holster while he trying to break up a fight outside the Cheerful Tortoise sports bar.

Police reportedly fired at him when he went to pick up his gun.

Cellphone footage of the incident was captured, and Washington can be seen falling to the ground while trying to break up the fight.

The footage begins about 16 seconds into the video, and Washington is seen in what appears to be a grey-colored T-shirt:

Washington intervened in the fight that began inside the bar over a racial slur.

The fight then moved outside, where officers confronted the group and reportedly told Washington to drop his gun.

Officers shouted “Drop the gun” several times before firing their weapons, but video caught on a cellphone shows that Washington’s gun dropped in the middle of the scuffle, and he wasn’t holding it.

Witnesses differ on exactly what happened that night.

Keyaira Smith, who filmed the incident, said Washington was “trying to be a Good Samaritan.”

“The gun slipped out of the holster when he had fallen, and I think he may have tried to retrieve it,” Smith said.

She added that the officers began firing as soon as they saw the weapon.

“There was absolutely no hesitation at all,” she said.

An employee at the sports bar, Donald Dietz, 25, had a different account of the incident.

“They warned him multiple times not to reach for it, but he did. People think they were overzealous, but they had to do it,” Dietz said.

The two responding campus police officers were identified as Shawn McKenzie and James Dewey.

Both men became sworn officers in 2016, two years after Portland State University began allowing campus police to carry firearms.

The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Portland State University released a statement saying it would not be releasing any more information at this time.