'He had so much to give to the world': Friend says victim in deadly Eugene bar shooting was always smiling

Alex Oyombe Gradin (Photo provided by Eugene Police Department) 

EUGENE, OR (KPTV) - A young man is dead after Eugene police say he was shot near the University of Oregon campus early Saturday morning.

21-year-old Alex Oyombe Gradin, a Lane Community College student, was fighting for his life when investigators got there and died at the scene, police said.

According to officers, it happened in the parking lot behind Taylor’s Bar and Grill.

A friend of Gradin’s from middle school, Anastasia Preece, says she believes Gradin was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It’s still mind-blowing. I don’t even think it’s completely sat in for anyone yet that it was actually Alex that was caught in that situation,” she said. “I can’t ever see him being menacing towards anyone or anything. I don’t even think he’s even capable of those emotions.”

Preece tells FOX 12 it’s hard to believe Gradin was involved in anything like this.

“He had to have been the one person in that situation that was just trying to calm things down,” she said.

Gradin’s family released a statement:

"We appreciate the outpouring of love and concern we have received in the tragic death of our son, Alex. He was an unexpected blessing to our lives when he joined us as a baby in Kenya and grew to be a compassionate, thoughtful young man. He naturally made many friends all over the world, who are grieving right now. We request at this time that you allow us to heal and support each other as a family."

“That just is exactly who he was all the time, all the time. Just so happy. It’s just still…it’s hard. It’s hard to comprehend,” said Preece. “He’s just such an amazing person and he had so much to give to the world.”

Police are now calling on taxi or rideshare drivers who were in the area of 13th and Kincaid early Saturday morning. Anyone who has any video shot from within their car is asked to call Eugene police.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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