Gresham teens turn scene of hate crime into mural for healing - KPTV - FOX 12

Gresham teens turn scene of hate crime into mural for healing

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Larnell Malik Bruce (Photo: Gresham Police Department) Larnell Malik Bruce (Photo: Gresham Police Department)
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

A local group is turning the scene of a hate crime murder into a mural for healing.

The Gresham Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) teamed up with local artists to design a mural that promotes unity and healing in their community.

Teens with YAC started painting the mural on Friday on the side of a 7-Eleven at Northeast 188th Avenue and Burnside where 19-year-old Larnell Bruce was killed in August.

Police say Bruce got into a fight with 38-year-old Russell Courtier, but Bruce ran off. Then Courtier and his girlfriend, 35-year-old Colleen Hunt, went after Bruce and ran him over. 

Bruce was taken to the hospital where he later died due to his injuries.

Officials say the suspects have ties to a white supremacist group, and they are now both charged with murder and hate crimes.

The mural shows neighbors of all races growing together in Gresham and the teens hope it inspires people.

"It's to stand with the community and tell them this isn't OK and to provide a sense of hope in this mural," said Teo Ramirez.

"Gresham gets a lot of flack for, Rockwood actually gets a lot of flack for being dangerous and I hope people see that it's not and it doesn't have that stigma anymore," said Brynn Lerma.

The teens chose the wall of the 7-Eleven as the mural spot because after Bruce died, members of the community began writing messages of sympathy on that wall.

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