2 girls likely dead before police fired at dad

A suicidal father killed his daughters age 8 and 11, then died in an exchange of gunfire with police early Wednesday morning, according to Gresham police.

The girls' mother called police around 12:30 a.m. saying the 42-year-old man took her daughters, ages 8 and 11, and was "armed, unsafe and suicidal", KATU.com reported.

Gresham police Sgt. John Rasmussen says the incident began early Wednesday as a domestic violence call.

Two detectives took aerial photos from the top of a fire truck ladder as a visibly upset man left red roses and candles in the parking lot, then hurried away. Tragically, it was already too late. The officer got out of his patrol auto, and shots were fired.

Around 1:30 a.m., Gresham Police located the auto in a parking lot at Northeast 162nd Avenue and Glisan Street. Their cause and time of death has not yet been determined, and their identities, along with their parents', have not been released.

Both the two young girls, aged eight and 11, and their father, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The mother reported him as being armed, risky and suicidal.

No officers involved in the incident were shot, but some suffered minor injuries while breaking into the burning vehicle, including strains, burns and smoke inhalation. All officers involved have now been placed on administrative leave according to protocol.

"Obviously it's a frightful and horrific scene for all involved, especially the family, but for the officers and paramedics, too, that tried to save the children and were unable to do so", said Rasmussen.

'It's one of those situations that we don't know exactly what we're walking into, ' he added.

  • Larry Hoffman