The Chicago Journal

Hostage situation in Portland ends with peaceful surrender

This week, Portland witnessed a hostage situation at an auto repair shop when Robert Connelly ran into from the shooting.

What happened

The Portland Police Department said officers shot the 49-year-old, who was seen in a security video with a gun, as he fled the police.

The video confirmed that Connelly threatened the police with a gun and shot him. His shots missed him.

Robert Connelly stumbled upon an auto repair shop owned by Alonso Rodriguez, who managed to escape. Miguel Sanchez, however, was unable to do the same.

Sanchez was in the garage waiting for his Mini Cooper to be ready. His earplugs were inside him, so he couldn’t hear the shots.

Once he understood the situation, Sanchez went to the kitchen in the store.

In the garage

With Connelly inside, Sanchez hid in a small spot under a counter in the corner. He reviewed his options and said he was considering taking matters into his own hands.

“I have to kill this guy, because if I don’t, he’s gonna kill me,” said Miguel Sanchez.

While considering what to do, Sanchez said Connelly tried to escape by punching holes in the walls.

The two eventually met.

“And I looked, and he looked, and we locked eyes,” said Sanchez. “And I thought, “Oh man, I’m dead.””

“And he said, “Come on, man. I’m not going to hurt you.”


In the next few hours, police crisis negotiators and the PBB tactical team spoke of the situation and Sanchez and Connelly spoke.

Connelly smoked an unidentified drug with a pipe and said he was ready to die, and Sanchez spoke to him about faith and forgiveness.

“I don’t care what you did today, I’m not concerned about what you’ve done in your life, but He’s willing to forgive you and you walk out alive from here,” revealed Sanchez.

“But if you don’t, you walk out there and shoot you, you go straight to hell and you will pay for eternity.”


Miguel Sanchez’s words reached Connelly and encouraged him to surrender peacefully.

“He said, “OK, I’m ready.” I said, “God bless you bro, you’re gonna be okay.” So he opened the door and showed them his hands and then he followed their instructions,” said Sanchez.

“And then I sat on the chair and just started bawling and praying  — it went from wanting to kill this man to so much compassion. I can see pain in his eyes.”

The situation ended as Miguel Sanchez wished, both for him and for his kidnapper.

“I wanted to make sure that I’d go home to see my grandkids and my kids and my family, that was my whole intention.”


According to the PBB, no one was injured in the accident.

Robert Connelly was arrested on multiple arrests related to firearm offenses and sexual assault charges.

He was also incarcerated at the Multnomah County Detention Center for first degree burglary, triple threat of firearms, three counts of illegal use of a weapon, second degree evasion and criminal possession of a weapon.


Hostage at Portland auto shop went from thinking he’d need to kill suspect to talking him into surrendering

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