Portland police strike man in the head with shotgun during stolen vehicle response

By OPB staff (OPB)
Feb. 14, 2023 12:53 a.m. Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 8:24 p.m.

Police said they found a knife and a replica gun in the car

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Feb. 27, 2023, after the officer who used deadly force was named by Portland police. The officer’s name is Matthew Masunari.

An incident in which a Portland police officer used deadly force is under investigation after the officer struck a man in the head with a shotgun while responding to a report of a stolen car.


The officer was identified two weeks later as Matthew Masunari, a 3-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau assigned to Central Precinct. He is expected to return to duty.

Police said the man, identified as 32-year-old Brian Bruman, was reaching under a car seat when the officer struck him. Police said they later found a replica gun in the car. Officers had already removed a knife from the vehicle prior to the use of force.


According to the Portland Police Bureau, three Portland police officers responded to a request for backup from an unarmed support specialist who had responded to a report of a stolen car parked under the Interstate 405 viaduct between 16th and 17th avenues in Northwest Portland, just after 9 p.m. on Saturday. Bruman was the lone occupant in the stolen car.

Police said that an officer ordered Bruman to leave the vehicle, but he did not comply and began to try to push obstructing police vehicles out of the way with the stolen car. Officers deflated the vehicle’s tires, so Bruman could not drive away.

Officers reportedly saw Bruman reaching toward the floor of the car. That is when an officer reportedly used his police shotgun to strike Bruman in the side of the head. Officers then pulled Bruman out of the stolen vehicle and took him into custody.

Police said Bruman told officers he had swallowed drugs. He was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries and observation.

Bruman was then booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on an arrest warrant out of Washington County. Detectives are working with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office on considering additional charges.

The incident is being investigated as a deadly use of force, which includes the use of a firearm, use of a carotid neck hold, or a strike to the head, neck or throat with a hard object. There were no reports that any officer discharged a firearm during this incident.

As part of the use of force review process, the bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board. In accordance with the Portland Police Bureau’s new policy, police state that the officer will be identified within 15 days of the incident.