Cold case: Bullets fly into bedroom, hit unintended target - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold case: Bullets fly into bedroom, hit unintended target

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Joey Erzen Joey Erzen
Shooting scene Shooting scene

It's hard to say what made people love Joey Erzen more – his worth ethic or his friendly, giving personality.

Customers at Ken Hutchens' tire shop still remember him.

"To this day, I get at least 10 to 15, 20 people a month asking me if I've heard anything about Joey," said Hutchens.

The answer is always the same.

Nearly five years after bullets came through the wall of Erzen's bedroom, his murder is still unsolved.

"You know, I never really understood when people say they need closure," said Hutchens. "But this one here, I understand. We all would like to know why and how it happened and why it happened."

Erzen was killed on August 22, 2009.

He was asleep in his bedroom on Southeast Flavel, when bullets flew into his bedroom around 3 a.m.

Det. Mark Sponhauer, one of the original investigators on Erzen's case, believes the bullets that hit Erzen were meant for someone else.

That summer, a group of teenagers and adults were involved in an ongoing dispute, said Sponhauer. He thinks members of the group ran into each other outside Erzen's house and opened fire.

"It's just unacceptable to drive around doing that kind of shooting. So we definitely want some leads to solve this case," he said.

Police want to identify two young men who were seen heading west from Southeast 57th Avenue to Malden Street that morning, or anyone else who has information that can help solve Erzen's murder.

If you have any information about this crime, contact Det. Mark Sponhauer at (503) 823-0416 or at

You can also leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.

Visit to download the Crime Stoppers app for the iPhone or Droid.

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