Three arrested after shooting death outside strip club - KPTV - FOX 12

Three arrested after shooting death outside strip club

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Three people were arrested in connection with the shooting death of a man outside a southeast Portland strip club.

Police said 31-year-old Robert Ford Jr. was shot outside Mystic Gentlemen's Club, located at 9950 Southeast Stark St., late Wednesday night.

"My son had much love for everybody," said Ford's mother, Debra.  "Whoever did this, it wasn't right to take his life. It wasn't right to take him from us."

Officers responded to the club about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday after receiving reports about a shooting in the club's parking lot. When police arrived, they found Ford critically wounded. 

Ford was taken to a local hospital but died overnight of his injuries.

"He has four children who love him dearly," said Debra Ford.  "Now they don't have a dad."

Police said it also appears after he was shot, Ford crashed his car into several other cars and a party bus in the parking lot.

"All of a sudden people start saying he had been shot," said Steve Schumacher from RIP City Party Bus.

He had a bachelor party on board last night and said most of the group was inside, at the time of the shooting.  However, a few men remained outside, and one of them even tried to help the victim who was shot.

"He had actually taken his shirt off, and held it on the victim's chest," said Schumacher.

When officers arrived at the parking lot, there was a large number of people, many who had come out of the Mystic to see what was going on.   

Witnesses told police a silver car, possibly a Lexus, was involved in the shooting, and it was spotted heading east on Stark from the parking lot of the club.

A Gresham police officer later stopped a similar car with four people inside.

After an investigation, police arrested 28-year-old Cleveland Nelson III and 27-year-old Mark Hardy Jr. on charges of murder. India Vasquez, 25, faces a charge of tampering with physical evidence in connection with the case.

Investigators have determined the shooting was gang-related.

Police said Ford had past gang ties and a conviction related to a pornography case in 2000.

Homicide detectives said cooperation from witnesses helped them make the arrests.

Ford's family has set up a tragedy fund in his honor at Key Bank branches, under his name Robert Ford.

Meanwhile, Mystic Club released a statement which said, while they don't know the circumstances surrounding the shooting, their condolences go out to the victim and his family.

The release also said neither the victim nor suspects were customers of the business last night, the club is cooperating with the police investigation.

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