Man who shot Ore. cop, killed K-9 ID'd, 2 more in custody

Paul Alan Ropp, 20, fired at an officer with an AR-15 rifle; he suffered a non-life-threatening head injury


By Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police Thursday identified three young men who were taken into custody stemming from Wednesday's pre-dawn burglary of a Southwest Portland business, an ensuing police chase and shootout that left one Portland officer wounded and his canine partner fatally shot.

Only one of the suspects has been booked into jail: Steven Young, 20, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 4:22 a.m. Thursday on a single allegation of first-degree burglary.

The two other suspects, Paul Alan Ropp, 20, who police say fired at an officer with an AR-15 rifle that was later recovered as evidence, and Jemaell Diamond Riley, 25, remain hospitalized.

Ropp suffered a non-life threatening injury to his head, police said. Sgt. Pete Simpson said police did not know if Ropp was injured from a gunshot or from the SUV crash. Riley also was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries from the crash, Simpson said.

Ropp and Riley are expected to be released from the hospital later Thursday and booked into jail. Additional charges are expected to be added once all three men are in jail, police said.

The accused are not scheduled to be arraigned in court until Friday. Under state law, a person arrested must be brought before a judge for arraignment within 36 hours of their arrest.

Two Portland police officers fired shots: Officer Jeffrey Dorn, a 16-year bureau member, who was wounded in both legs; and Central Precinct Officer Jason Worthington, a 9-year bureau member. Dorn, 40, was treated for his wounds at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and released on Thursday.

A necropsy performed Thursday on the deceased police dog, Mick, found the German Shepherd died of a single gunshot wound.

Investigators learned that the accused had allegedly set off the alarm at Blumenthal Uniforms & Equipment at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday to see how fast police would respond.

Shortly after 2 a.m., a Central Precinct officer responded to another alarm at the business at 9047 S.W. Barbur Blvd.  The intruders had pried open a back door and stole a display of sample police badges and pepper spray from a storeroom, the co-owner Mark Blumenthal said.

As other officers responded, they "focused on a suspicious vehicle" and tried to conduct a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet Suburban, Simpson said. The SUV did not stop and a chase ensued. Officers chased the SUV to Southwest Capitol Highway and Lobelia Street, where the SUV crashed into a utility pole.

Two of the three men in the car were led out of the vehicle by Portland police, while the driver, Ropp, quickly exited and fled.

Police canine Officer Jeffrey Dorn, 40, and Worthington started to run after the fleeing suspect. Dorn unleashed his dog Mick after the fleeing suspect, and an exchange of gunfire followed, police said.
Dorn suffered gunshot wounds to both his upper legs. His canine partner Mick was struck in the body and found hours later dead, lying beneath a front hedge of a home in the 4100 block of Southwest Lobelia Street.

Under Oregon law, assaulting a police animal is a Class C felony.

Kimberly Rodda, who lives on Southwest Lobelia Street directly across the street from the spot where the SUV crashed, said she was awakened by the sound of the crash.

"Then I heard the shots. You could tell it was gunshots, not fireworks and that it was very close," she said.

Rodda looked out briefly, and saw four Portland police officers carrying the wounded officer Dorn towards a waiting ambulance on Southwest Capitol Highway, and Marigold Street.

"One had each of his arms, and one had each of his legs," Rodda said. "They carried him to a stretcher."

Calls to 911 helped police track down Ropp in the 6900 block of S.W. Oleson Road nearly three hours later. Officers searching the neighborhood located an AR-15 rifle that police said he fired.
Two of the men detained, Ropp and Young, had both attended high school together in The Dalles, according to Ropp's father Alan Ropp.

"We're very sad all this has happened," Alan Ropp said. He said his son was living in the Beaverton area most recently, and he hasn't been allowed to talk to him since the shooting.

Ropp graduated from The Dalles-Wahtonka High School in June 2012. Young attended the same high school but dropped out in 2011, according to the school district.

Ropp had attended Portland State University last fall and winter terms, through the spring break in March, according to Scott Gallagher, PSU spokesman. His major was international studies. He was not registered for the spring semester, Gallagher said.

According to Young's Facebook page, he was from The Dalles and living in Vancouver and studied at Columbia Gorge Community College.

Riley, on his Facebook page, said he was the author of The Why Book, examining why adults no longer question what goes on in the world as children routinely do. He described his own life story as being "riddled with struggle, pain and hardship" -- was homeless six times, lived in 10 states, went to 6 high schools and never finished the 11th grade. Yet he added, "And life still can't take me down."
The suspects don't have much of a criminal record.

Young has two prior violations, convicted of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in February 2012 and of driving with a suspended license and driving uninsured in July 2013 in Wasco County.

Dorn's family changed his canine partner's name, which originally was "Dusty vom Langgarten," to "Mickey," police said. His name was shortened to Mick for street work. He was a purebred German Shepherd imported from Germany. Portland police bought Mick from Brett Titus, through his company Tac-Dogs in Colorado.

Dorn has been on the bureau's K9 unit since 2006. Mick was his second police dog.

Copyright 2014 The Oregonian


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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