Gresham PD: Father kills 2 daughters, dies in gunfire exchange

Police say man was suicidal, lit car on fire

(update: Police say girls likely dead before officers arrived; autopsy Thursday)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police say a suicidal Portland-area man who had threatened to harm his two daughters lit his own car on fire when police approached him.

Gresham police Sgt. John Rasmussen says at least one officer shot at the 42-year-old man in the moments after he set the fire. The man died at the scene, though it wasn't clear if he was hit by the police bullet or if he shot himself.

Officers then found his two young daughters, aged 8 and 11, dead in the back seat of the vehicle.

Their cause of death wasn't immediately known.

Rasmussen said “initial indications" show the girls were dead before the officers showed up.

Autopsy results on all three are expected Thursday. Their names haven't been released.

Earlier Wednesday, Rasmussen told reporters that the man's wife reported her husband was suicidal and he and their 8- and 11-year-old daughters were missing.

Police approached the man when they found his car in a gas station parking lot. Rasmussen said the man "engaged" with officers, and at least one officer fired.

A mourner left candles and red roses at the scene

No officers were hurt in the shooting. One officer was injured trying to break into the SUV, KGW-TV reported.

"It's a horrible and horrific situation for all involved," Rasmussen told the station.

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