Friends and family mourn man killed by Portland Police, want ans - KPTV - FOX 12

Friends and family mourn man killed by Portland Police, want answers

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A memorial is growing outside the Portland shelter where police shot and killed a man Saturday night.

A couple dozen of the man’s friends and family members came to a vigil that was held both in his honor and as part of a larger stand against police violence.

“He was my best friend,” said Victoria Nevarez Sunday. “I’m in shock to be very honest. It’s heartbreaking. I’m devastated with the loss.”

Fox 12 is not identifying the man officers killed because authorities have not yet released his name. 

Police said they responded to the area of the shelter after it was discovered that a stolen car was crashed nearby. Officers also said they were looking for a suspect who might be responsible for car-jacking a driver earlier that day.

Witnesses inside the Cityteam shelter at the time of the shooting, told Fox 12 that the man rushed inside and started cutting his own neck with a knife and refused to put it down when officers came in and ordered him to surrender.

At least a couple videos taken inside the shelter during the shooting are circulating on social media.

“I just know that what we saw and what we know, is that it was not okay and he was murdered,” Nevarez said. “That’s how all of us feel.”

Nevarez said she couldn’t share many details about her friend’s mental state -- as she wanted to respect his grieving family’s privacy – she did, however, tell Fox 12 that the account of the suspect’s behavior was not the man she knew.

“We don’t know where he was at last night, and what happened, and what was going on, so we can’t elaborate on that,” Nevarez said.

Other friends and family members at the vigil didn’t want to comment on camera, out of respect to his family, but wanted people to know that he was a beloved husband, father and grandfather who will now be deeply missed.

“He’s been here his entire life. He went to Franklin High School,” Nevarez said. “He was an upstanding person who’d give you the last $5 in his pocket and the shirt off his back if he needed it.”

Friends also said he’d struggled in his life – but made recent achievements, that were evident in a large photo at his memorial: the picture shows the man holding a certificate with his name on it.

Nevarez said he’d taken the photo after he recently graduated from a recovery program.

She said he worked in construction.

“He was a great man and he was loved by many people, and what we saw last night was unacceptable in our community,” Nevarez said.

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