PORTLAND, Ore. — A Navy veteran who was fatally shot by Portland State University campus police during a fight outside a bar had a permit to carry a concealed handgun, a news organization reported.
Sgt. Brent Laizure, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that Jason Erik Washington had a valid concealed carry permit.
Washington, 45, who is black, was shot to death by campus police outside a bar in downtown Portland late Friday. The Portland Police Bureau is investigating the shooting.
Witness Keyaira Smith told several news outlets that Washington was trying to break up a fight and a gun holstered on his hip fell out. He went to pick it up and was shot after someone yelled, “Gun!” Smith said. She had not responded to a request for an interview from The Associated Press.
A video clip shot by a bystander and obtained by KOIN-TV shows a black object in the pocket of a shorts-wearing man who is trying to break up a fight.
The man falls to the ground after pulling another man off his friend as they exchange blows. The camera jerks away from the action shortly after the fall and doesn’t show the shooting.
Washington was a Navy veteran who had worked at the U.S. Postal Service since 1998, OPB reported. He was married and had three children and one grandchild.
“He loved those kids, he was crazy about them,” said David Norton, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 82. Norton knew Washington for seven years.
“He was a big personality. He always had a lot to say. He kind of had a larger-than-life personality. He was always very animated and exuberant. And if you ever worked with the guy or knew the guy, you would never forget him.”
Norton said Washington was with co-workers the day he was shot.
PSU students protested over the weekend over the university’s decision to arm its campus police. The university’s board of trustees voted in 2015 arm its police force over objections from students.