3 months before he was killed, police warned Ore. teen of fake gun dangers

"I told both of them that the toy gun looked real and may get them killed if they carried it or pointed it at someone"


By Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — Three months before a Portland officer fatally shot 17-year-old Quanice Hayes, another officer had warned the teenager and another boy accused of breaking into a car that the fake gun they had could get them killed.

On Nov. 4, police found the replica black handgun in a backpack between the two boys in the car in Southeast Portland. The car's owner said the backpack wasn't hers, according to a police report.

Venus Hayes, second from right, is surrounded by family members as she speaks during a press conference in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Venus Hayes, second from right, is surrounded by family members as she speaks during a press conference in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Officer Gregory Adrian wrote in the report that he and his partner were "very strict in our words with the boys."

"I told both of them that the toy gun looked real and may get them killed if they carried it or pointed it at someone,'' Adrian wrote.

Three months later on Feb. 9, Adrian was one of the officers who approached Hayes' body after he was shot and killed by another officer at a Northeast Portland home where they believed an armed robbery suspect was hiding.

Adrian had been watching a back door of the home when other officers at the front of the house confronted Hayes and ordered him to keep his hands up and crawl toward them on the driveway. When Hayes appeared to reach toward his waistband, Officer Andrew Hearst fired three shots from an AR-15 rifle, striking and killing the 17-year-old, according to a grand jury transcript.

Hearst testified before the grand jury that he never saw Hayes with a gun, but believed Hayes was the suspect in the holdup of a man in his car earlier that morning. The man described his assailant as holding a tan pistol.

Officers found a black and tan airsoft pistol about 2 feet from Hayes body, they said.

Adrian didn't realize that it was the same teenager he had encountered during the car prowl call in November until after he heard Hayes identified as the person shot.

Adrian then wrote up a special report for homicide detectives about the November case. The Oregonian/OregonLive obtained the report through a public records request.

His encounter with Hayes happened at 12:45 p.m. Nov. 4 in the 600 block of Southeast 148th Avenue. Adrian and Officer Stephanie Hudson responded to a report that two males had broken out the window of a Subaru.

When they arrived, they found Hayes and another juvenile sitting in the car. Both boys told the police that they had permission from the owner to be in the car. Police spoke to the owner, who said she didn't know either of the boys and wanted to press charges, according to the police report.

The officers handcuffed the two youths on an allegation of unlawful entry of a vehicle and took them to the bureau's Forensic Evidence Division for mugshots and fingerprinting. They then were taken to a residential center run by Janus Youth, which provides an alternative to detention.

Adrian wrote that he used graphic language to instill the serious consequences that could occur from carrying a fake gun. Neither teen admitted that the fake gun was theirs, and police seized it and the backpack.

"Told them I would shoot someone who pointed it at me - both boys verbally said they understood,'' Adrian wrote. "Officer Hudson also told them she would shoot someone pointing it because it appeared real.''

Police also found a mask inside the car. The owner claimed it wasn't hers, and the boys also said it wasn't theirs. Both boys were polite during the encounter, Adrian wrote.

The officers didn't realize that Hayes had been reported as a runaway until the day after they dropped him off at the Janus Youth center. By then, he was on the run again, police said.

The grand jury that reviewed the fatal shooting didn't hear about the November encounter. It found no criminal wrongdoing by Hearst. An internal investigation continues.

In another development, police investigative reports confirm that investigators didn't tell Hayes' family of his death until about 34 hours after he was killed and only after the Hayes family contacted Portland police.

Police identified Hayes from a thumbprint taken the morning after the shooting during his autopsy. The print came back to a Quintel Marshall, who had an alias of Quanice D. Hayes, according to Detective Erik Kammerer's report.

A woman named Rachel Zimmerman called police on behalf of Hayes' mother and grandmother at 7 p.m. Feb. 10. She left a message for the lead detective in the case and Kammerer called back. The woman said she was trying to verify if Hayes was dead. Kammerer said he needed to talk with immediate family members and so Zimmerman put Hayes' mother and grandmother on speaker phone.

Kammerer told Venus Hayes, the teenager's mother, that he believed Quanice Hayes might be the person who was shot, according to his report. He offered to come to their home.

Venus Hayes said she preferred to come to meet Kammerer, hung up and headed to the downtown detective division.

Kammerer said he printed out a booking photo for Quintel Marshall. When Venus Hayes and the boy's grandmother, Donna Hayes, arrived, he and two other detectives met with them and showed them the photo.

"I explained to Venus Hayes there was some confusion of the identity of the person who had been shot by the police," Kammerer wrote in the report.

Venus Hayes identified the photo as that of her son and began to cry. She asked to keep the photo. She said she had last spoken to her son before Christmas, the report said.

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©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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