Helicopter video taken last Friday shows a dramatic chase in a field north of Sherwood in Washington County. A police armored vehicle follows a pickup truck, ramming it several times before the truck stops. A man tries to exit the pickup, which is rammed again by the armored vehicle. Most television news programs cut the video off at about this point, but the full version is available and shows a member of the county Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT) rise out of the roof hatch and fire a long gun several times into the passenger side of the pickup.
The driver, Remi Sabbe, 54, of Tigard, is not visible in the video at the moment of the shooting. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a press release last night, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office identified the involved officers as Deputy Earl Brown and Corporal Cade Edwards. Brown has been with WCSO since 2008, and Edwards since 2003.
The press release states that Sherwood police received reports of a man driving erratically in a field early in the afternoon, along with reports of gunshots. An officer tried to contact Sabbe, who drove away and crashed into a tree. The officer said he then head gunshots and saw Sabbe carrying a rifle.
TNT and the county’s Crisis Negotiation Unit arrived soon afterwards. A wide cordon was set up, disrupting traffic along Roy Rogers Road and Scholls-Sherwood Road for hours.
The Crisis Negotiation Unit is tasked with bringing a “peaceful resolution to often extremely volatile situations.”
The Sheriff’s Public Information Officer, Deputy Jeff Talbot, told KBOO via email that the Crisis unit was “gathering intelligence information” at the scene, to use if communication could be established with Sabbe. Talbot says law enforcement was not able to contact Sabbe, which according to the press release was attempted at 3:30pm. Sabbe drove away, and TNT began a so-called Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) using the armored vehicle, resulting in the brief and deadly chase.
According to the press release, Sabbe turned and aimed a rifle at the officers in the vehicle, whereupon he was shot. Both Deputy Brown and Corporal Edwards are said to have fired their weapons, though their precise roles were not described.
Talbot told KBOO that it is not known when the county’s Major Crimes Team will finish its investigation, which will inform the District Attorney’s decision whether or not to have the case heard by a grand jury. Talbot says that officer-involved shooting investigations can take weeks if not months, particularly due to forensics processing. He expects a similar timeline for this investigation.
--Sam Bouman, KBOO Portland