Security Officer Killed in Portland Hospital Shooting

Published: July 24, 2023

Portland, Oregon – One security officer was fatally shot Saturday morning at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center. The suspected shooter was shot and killed hours later in a nearby community by police.

The ordeal began around 11 a.m. Law enforcement officers responded to reports that a person with at least one gun fired shots inside the hospital on the fifth floor of the Irving Center near the birthing unit, reports KOIN. The initial call from hospital security said a person visiting a patient threatened hospital staff, reports the Associated Press.

Officers searched the hospital, but the suspect had fled the scene. At about 2 p.m., police located the unidentified shooter in Gresham, which is about 15 miles away from Portland. A patrol unit attempted to make a traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle, and the suspect died in an officer-involved shooting.

The injured security officer, identified as 44-year-old Bobby Smallwood, was taken to a Level 1 Trauma Center where he later died, reports KPTV. A second unidentified hospital employee was hit by shrapnel in the shooting and was treated at Legacy Good Samaritan. The staff member is in stable condition. No patients were injured during the incident.

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The hospital immediately went into lockdown after the shooting. Its shelter-in-place order was lifted just before 5 p.m., and the hospital’s emergency department moved out of divert status at about 7:30 p.m. The birthing center is closed until further notice.

The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old PoniaX Kanes Calles. According to court documents, Calles, who changed his name from Reginald Kane Jackson, was at the hospital because his partner had just given birth to their son, reports The Guardian. The pair had been in a relationship since 2012 and shared two other children.

According to court documents, Calles had a history of arrests on allegations of assault, disorderly conduct, and trespassing. The mother of his children filed a restraining order against him on April 21, 2023. In June, the restraining order was dismissed after she failed to appear in court.

The woman alleges Calles threatened to punch the baby out of her stomach and put her in a chokehold. Child welfare services were also involved following other allegations that he physically abused their eight-year-old daughter. At one point, the woman filed for temporary custody of their children. She also said Calles had “anger problems” and asked the court to prohibit him from possessing or purchasing any guns. He owned two handguns and a rifle, she said.

Legacy Good Samaritan to Make Security Improvements

Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell praised the response to the incident of Legacy Good Samaritan staff and law enforcement. Despite the praise, Legacy Health announced it is making security improvements at all of its locations. Metal detectors will be installed at all hospitals and bag searches will be conducted for all patients and visitors, according to KGW8.

“We will install bullet-slow film on the hospital main entrances and emergency departments and on glass in internal entrances,” Legacy President and CEO Kathryn Correia said in a statement.

Head security officers have also been equipped with Tasers, and all security officers will also be issued them once proper training and certification are completed. Correia said there is room for each hospital to create unique solutions that best serve their facilities and communities.

Correia also said a second phase of security improvements will also be made at Legacy’s medical office buildings and community-based clinics.

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