PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland police said they found a male and a female dead inside a Southeast Portland apartment Friday night, and they said it appears it was a murder-suicide.
Portland’s SWAT team and crisis negotiators were called to the Amber Court Apartments in the 2500 block of Southeast 141st Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. after there was a report of a shooting.
The woman was identified as 42-year-old Maria Soumphonpackdy, and the man was her 60-year-old husband Jack.
The first police officers on the scene entered the apartment building because they were told a woman was inside and injured. While searching the apartment they heard a shot inside. They didn't know where the shot came from, so they backed out of the apartment and called in the SWAT team for backup, police said.
“As they were clearing that apartment," said Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau, "working their way towards that victim, they heard another gunshot inside. Unclear to the officers if they were being shot at or what the situation was. So based on that, those uniformed officers backed out.”
Negotiators tried and failed to contact someone inside the apartment. Police said they were concerned about the woman inside and fired tear gas into the apartment. They then entered it to rescue her.
They found the Soumphonpackdyes dead inside.
Jeremy Wise was in a nearby crowd as the tear gas swept in from the building.
“At first I started feeling it through my nose," said Wise." And then it just started burning my chest. Other people started feeling it so they started running away.”
Police said they didn't fire their guns.
The investigation is ongoing.
Southeast Division was closed in both directions from about 136th to 145th Avenue.
Police said they believe it was a case of domestic violence.
If you're in crisis or feel threatened you can find a list of crisis lines for counties around the metro area here.
“If you're feeling abused," says Sgt. Pete Simpson, "if you're feeling homicidal - like you're in a situation like you don't know what to do - reach out and call somebody because we can prevent things like this from happening.”