Police responded to an officer-involved shooting in southwest Portland Wednesday.More >
Police responded to an officer-involved shooting in southwest Portland Wednesday. More >
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
A man who died in a police shootout near Wilson High School on Wednesday has been identified as the suspect in a violent January kidnapping in the Oak Grove area.
Kelly Swoboda forced a tanning salon employee into a green van along Highway 99E back on Jan. 28. He was then named a suspect in multiple bank robberies, including one in Eugene in late February.
A federal indictment was also filed against Swoboda Wednesday alleging that he committed three other bank robberies in Milwaukie and Portland between November and December, according to the Department of Justice.
Before Wednesday afternoon's shooting, Portland police officers were called to the Hillsdale neighborhood around Wilson High School to investigate a suspicious man driving a green van. Detectives said the man was following kids around the neighborhood.
When first contacted by police, the man told police he was just going to visit the library. Once he left, police saw the back and front license plates on his van didn't match, so three officers headed for the library to search for him.
Officer John Romero, an eight-year veteran with the police bureau who is assigned to the youth services division, went back to the van after police didn't find the man at the library, and he spotted him walking on Southwest Cheltenham Street.
Romero gave commands to the suspect, but they were ignored and he kept walking, police said.
At some point, Romero and the suspect both fired their weapons, and Romero then took cover and reported shots fired, police said. He was wounded in his arm and hand, and taken to a hospital.
The suspect dropped to the ground after the shootout, and officers approached him with a ballistic field and confirmed his death. That man turned out to be Swoboda, sources told FOX 12.
At 11:50 a.m. Thursday, Portland police officially named Swoboda as the suspect who was killed.
Romero is now out of the hospital and recovering at home. He will remain on paid administrative leave while a grand jury looks into the shooting.
Ian Sloan, who was in the area at the time and heard the gunshots, said he's thankful the officer is going to be OK.
"I don't know how many people there are out there that would be willing to give their life like that. He didn't die, but obviously he was willing to," Sloan said.
Perry Taylor, a junior at Wilson High School, was practicing in the baseball field at the school when he heard shots ring out a block away.
"Immediately after that, sirens -- within a few seconds of the shots. We knew it was something serious, but I didn't think it was quite this big," Taylor said.
An autopsy will be performed on Swoboda's body sometime Thursday.