Portland Officer Shooting Of Man Back In January Ruled Not Criminal

A grand jury in Multnomah County has ruled that the deadly shooting of 31-year-old Matthew Lee Holland by Portland police officer Joshua Howery in January was not criminal, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. The shooting occurred during a tense standoff at a downtown apartment building on January 14.

The incident unfolded when officers responded to reports of gunfire inside the Portland Astoria apartments on Southwest Columbia Street. Upon arrival, they discovered bullet holes in the hallway and heard yelling and additional gunshots emanating from an apartment on the eighth floor. In response to the escalating situation, police sent alert messages to neighboring residents, advising them to remain indoors and secure their doors.

The Crisis Negotiation Team and the Special Emergency Reaction Team were swiftly deployed at around 1 a.m. Efforts were made to establish communication with the individual inside the apartment, but no response was received. Meanwhile, officers evacuated nearby residents, prioritizing their safety.

The situation continued to escalate, with gunshots and yelling persisting for over an hour. At approximately 2:40 a.m., further gunshots were heard, and at least one neighbor reported bullets penetrating the walls of their apartment. It was at this point that Officer Joshua Howery discharged his weapon, fatally shooting Matthew Lee Holland. Holland was found injured with an AR-15-style rifle nearby. Despite receiving medical aid from paramedics, he succumbed to a gunshot wound, as determined by the medical examiner.

During the investigation, Officer Joshua Howery was placed on administrative leave, following standard protocol. Howery, a 23-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), has been stationed at the East Precinct and is a member of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT). The grand jury’s ruling, based on a review of the evidence and consideration of Oregon law, concluded that Officer Howery’s use of force in the encounter was not criminal. While this decision marks the end of the criminal investigation, the incident remains a tragic loss of life.