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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014County: Multnomah
Charges: Felony CTA
Alleged: Paul A. Ropp
Paul A. Ropp, a 20-year-old from The Dalles who attended Portland State University last fall and winter semesters, was the man who fired at police in Southwest Portland with a rifle, wounding an officer and killing his police dog partner, police said Thursday.
Ropp, who suffered a head wound and dog bites, remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon, police said.
Ropp was taken into custody about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday after a multi-hour manhunt by several law enforcement agencies across miles of residential neighborhoods in Southwest Portland. He was one of three men who police say was involved in a pre-dawn burglary of a Southwest Portland police equipment store, then fled in a white Suburban, eluding police before crashing into a utility pole on Southwest Capitol Highway.
Ropp, the driver, ran from the vehicle, while two passengers, identified as Steven Young, 20, and Jemaell D. Riley, 25, were taken into custody immediately by police.
Police canine Officer Jeffrey Dorn, 40, and Central Precinct Officer Jason Worthington started to run after Ropp on Southwest Lobelia Street, police said. Dorn unleased his dog Mick after Ropp, and an exchange of gunfire ensured. Witnesses said they heard 7 to 8 shots.
Dorn, wounded in both upper legs, was carried from the scene to an ambulance on Southwest Capitol Highway by four other officers, a witness said.
"One had each of his arms, and one had each of his legs,'' said Kimberly Rodda, who lives directly across the street from the crash. "They carried him to a stretcher.''
Dorn was treated at Portland's Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and released Thursday. His partner, a purebreed German Shepherd named Mick, died from a single gunshot to his body, a necropsy found.
Once booked into jail, Ropp is expected to face allegations including attempted aggravated murder, assault of a law enforcement animal, eluding police and burglary.
"We're all just very sad. We're very sad all this has happened,'' his father Alan Ropp told The Oregonian Thursday. He added that he had not been able to talk to his son since he was taken into custody.
Ropp and Young had attended The Dalles-Wahtonka High School together. Ropp graduated in June 2012. Young dropped out in 2011, according to the school district.
Ropp went on to attend PSU last fall and winter terms, up until the March spring break, according to Scott Gallagher, PSU spokesman. His major was international studies. He was not registered for the spring semester, Gallagher said.
In 2010, Ropp wrote on the "nerdfighters" social website: "I'm a pretty low key guy, i love music of all kinds, i like some sports like karate and krav maga, and i enjoy reading, back packing, and cooking on a regular basis.''
According to Young's Facebook page, he was from The Dalles, lived in Vancouver and attended a community college. Riley, on his Facebook page, said he was the author of "The Why Book, " examining why adults no longer question things like children do, and described his own life as being "riddled with struggle, pain and hardship.''
The suspects don't have much in the way of criminal records. Young has two prior violations for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in February 2012 and for driving with a suspended license and no insurance in July 2013 in Wasco County.
Investigators learned that the trio had allegedly set off the alarm at Blumenthal Uniforms & Equipment at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday to see how fast police would respond, before returning in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday. Co-owner Mark Blumenthal said the back door was pried open and a display of sample police badges, canisters of pepper spray and body armor were stolen.
After Ropp was located in the 6900 block of Southwest Oleson Road, police recovered an AR-15 rifle in the neighborhood, and extra ammunition on Ropp. Young was booked into jail early Thursday on a burglary allegation but additional charges were expected.
Ropp and Riley, also hospitalized for injuries from the crash, were expected to be booked into jail, either Thursday night or early Friday.
Assault of a law enforcement animal is a Class C felony, punishable by probation of up to 90 days to 25 to 30 months in prison.
- Oregon Live - April 17, 2014
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