‘Leave it in Lord’s hands’: Happy Valley vigil for slain men

Clackamas County

Jerry Burns and Connor Gaines were shot to death

HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN) — Family and friends gathered to remember two men who died in a shooting in a Clackamas County apartment last weekend.

Jerry Burns and Connor Gaines were shot to death Saturday night at the Reflections apartment complex on Southeast Causey Loop near Happy Valley. Burns was 56. Gaines was 25.

Nearly 40 people came out to remember the men who met a violent death.

Ilene Burns, Jerry’s wife, said the accused killer “took a very special loved one from all of us. There wasn’t anything that Jerry wouldn’t do for anybody. He was kind, loving and caring. He was amazing.”

Jerry Burns with his wife Ilene and his niece Kelsey Conger in undated photos (Courtesy: Jerry Burns family)

Burns’ younger sister, Kristi Kangas, said he was a good person. “I was always in his life, no matter what. And he was always in my life, no matter what. And somebody destroyed our lives and took him from us. He did a lot for people that he didn’t even know.”

His niece, Kelsey Conger, said “He cared about anybody and everybody, no matter who you were.”

She said she had a special bond with him since she was young, and said he told her she was like a daughter to him.

“I was just baptized on Friday and he was able to make it. And the last thing he told me was that he loved me so much and that he was proud of me,” she said. “And the next day he died.”

Burns’ family said Gaines was his friend.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Amanda Gregson, 39, early Sunday morning and charged her with both murders.

Family photos of 25-year-old Connor Gaines (Courtesy/family)

“What happened was not right,” Jerry’s brother Roy said. “We’ll leave it in the Lord’s hands and we’ll see what prevails. Not much more we can do but show the public we love him and miss him.”

“We are just here to show her and the public that he had a family and poeple loved him,” said his sister Kristi.

Conger summed up their feelings on the killings.

“She didn’t just take one, she took two, someone that was my age, and that’s not OK,” she said. “That’s not her choice and she took that into her own hands.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Twitter News Widget

Trending Stories