Family of man pleads for witnesses to come forward after deadly shooting

The family of a man who died after he was shot in a Portland homeless camp is pleading for witnesses to come forward to police.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 6:22 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The family of a man who died after he was shot in a Portland homeless camp is pleading for witnesses to come forward to police.

Portland Police identified the victim as Zackary Joel Harris. He was shot on March 16 and died in the hospital several days later.

The 31-year-old was camping near the underpass of Caser E. Chavez Boulevard and Halsey Street, according to his father and sister. He was shot in the same area.

His father, Joel Harris said his son may have had an argument with the shooter prior to being shot, but he doesn’t know many details about what happened.

He is grateful he was able to see his son right before he died.

“I had hung out with him just the day before this happened,” Harris said. “And I can still just see him sitting in my truck drawing, just being mellow and calm and trying to make the right steps.”

According to Joel Harris, Zackary had a tough life; made some bad decisions but wasn’t a bad person and wasn’t violent.

“He chose the wrong path for a little while, but he was getting on the right path and reaching out to family,” Harris said.

“He was a good guy. I love him and miss him,” the father added.

According to the family, Zackary Harris leaves behind a young daughter and son.

“All he ever wanted was to be there for his daughter and son. His life was taken by the hands of a cold-blooded murderer who needs to be caught,” said his sister, Brandi Harris. “It is essential to serve justice and find answers.”

The Harris family worries that because Zackary was homeless, it could make an already tough case that much harder to solve.

“The people who know are still on those streets with this guy who did it,” his sister said. “They have to live there. They’re not going to jeopardize themselves; it’s not going to bring him back.”

In their grief, the family is asking for bravery among those who might know something that can help solve the case.

“We sit here today pleading anyone who knows anything to come forward, anonymously or not,” Brandi Harris said. “This man was so loved by many he’s a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend who was taken way too soon.”

“He needs to be caught before he hurts anybody else,” Zackary’s sister added.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Portland Police.