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Police release photo of fake gun, audio from Robert Delgado shooting

Police say Robert Delgado had a replica handgun when an officer shot and killed him.
Courtesy of Portland Police Bureau
Police say Robert Delgado had a replica handgun when an officer shot and killed him.

Robert Delgado had a replica pistol when Portland police officer Zachary DeLong shot and killed him Friday, according to information released by the Portland Police Bureau Monday.

According to photos released by the bureau, the tip of the black replica handgun’s barrel was painted orange. Police also found a replica gun magazine near the replica handgun.

On Monday, the bureau also released recordings of radio transmissions, as well as a timeline of events from Friday’s shooting.

Officers were dispatched to Lents Park at 9:26 a.m. for a man doing “quick draws” and holding what looked like a handgun. One of the dispatched officers then contacted the person who made the original 911 call.

“Apparently he’s acting like James Bond or like a cowboy doing quick draws with it, not pointing it at anybody,” the officer told the dispatcher.

The first officer arrived at the park by 9:36 a.m., and other officers arrived soon after, according to police.

“I think his hands are empty right now,” one officer said over his radio. “We are just going to pull into the parking lot right now and address him from a distance.”

One officer then said over the radio that Delgado was noncompliant and that he thought the gun was in Delgado’s back pocket.

“He’s flipping us off,” the officer said. “Transients in the parking lot are saying he has a gun.”

The recordings released Monday do not offer detailed descriptions of the interaction between Delgado and the officers in the moments before the shooting.

Four minutes after arriving at the park, DeLong shot and killed him. According to the police bureau, DeLong was 90-feet away from Delgado when he shot.

Officers spent several minutes trying to determine if Delgado was still moving or holding a gun as they made a plan to get a ballistics shield and approach him. According to the bureau, officers called in medical help at 9:47 a.m., and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation right after.

One of Delgado’s friends, Jennifer Fahey, said she had tried to get him help for his mental health issues, but added that Delgado didn’t trust institutions. She said he was terrified of the police.

“He was always thinking the cops were after him,” Fahey said. “The CIA, the feds. He was so scared of cops.”

DeLong is on administrative leave pending PPB’s investigation into the shooting.

In a statement Saturday, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said the investigation will be methodical, consistent and unrushed.

“It is expected that this case will be presented to a grand jury to determine whether the use of deadly force was a legal act of self defense and/or self defense of others,” Schmidt wrote.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Jonathan Levinson