A 19-year-old man was killed in a fight in a Fred Meyer store parking lot in The Dalles on Sunday night.
Officers responded to the store on West Sixth Street after getting a report of a fight in progress around 8:45 p.m. When they arrived, they found the victim, Mark Labonte, unresponsive.
Labonte was rushed to Mid-Columbia Medical Center, and then taken from there to Oregon Health & Science University by a LifeFlight helicopter. He was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m.
The Dalles Police Chief Jay Waterbury said the suspect fled the scene before officers arrived, and he remained at large Monday morning.
However, police said they know the suspect's identity and they're working on leads to track him down. They're not releasing a description of him at this point.
"Really shocked. It's unbelievable what's going on. It really needs to be taken care of and I really hope whoever did this will pay dearly for it because they took away a wonderful person from some really important people in my life," said Debbie, who lives next door to Labonte.
Police said they're treating Labonte's death as a homicide, but the exact cause of death is still being investigated by detectives. There's no word on whether a weapon was used.
Though it is the second killing in The Dalles in a three-week span, officers said there's no indication it's related to the murder of Scott Erlenbush, who was killed in the Amerititle parking lot off Second Street back on Aug. 24.
Anyone with information on Labonte's death is asked to call The Dalles City Police Department at 541-296-2613.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.
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