PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The FBI is offering a significant reward connected to a deadly mass shooting that took place in downtown Portland nearly three months ago.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon Keiran Ramsay announced they, in partnership with Metro Safe Streets Task Force, are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the July 17 shooting on SW 3rd Avenue.
This reward is in addition to the previously offered reward of up to $2,500 from Crime Stoppers of Oregon.
The shooting, which the FBI believes was gang-related, left 18-year-old Makayla Harris dead and six other bystanders injured. Authorities believe none of the victims were the intended targets.
Family and friends of Harris attended the press conference to ask the community to come forward with information so they can get justice for the young woman.
“Today we’re joined by a number of friends and family members of Makayla who are really here showing a tremendous amount of bravery — bravery that’s shining through when so many people out there that may have information on these shootings are remaining silent,” Ramsay said.
Ramsay pleaded with the community to help them hold those responsible for Portland’s rising homicide rate accountable.
“Law enforcement continues to respond to these incidents and is meeting a wall of resistance, if not reluctance, for people to come forward — people who saw something, that witnessed something, that still have yet to find the will to come forward to law enforcement,” he said. “Perhaps it is because of a distrust of law enforcement, perhaps it is because of a fear of retaliation or some other reason. But in the end, if we don’t have people come forward and find the will to provide us this information, to stop this killing — we know what’s going to continue.”
Makayla’s mother, Felicia Martinez, was not in attendance but did pen a letter that Ramsay read.
“Makayla was beautiful, happy and recently graduated high school,” the letter said, in part. “I am asking anyone with information to come forward and speak with the investigators to help solve this senseless tragedy. I know someone out there knows who did this. Please do the right thing and help hold the person or persons responsible for their actions. We deserve closure and Makayla, who had her innocent life taken from her, deserves justice.
“This is to the coward who took my baby from me — you will pay for what you did because I will not lay down and I will never stop fighting for my baby girl. I will not stop seeking justice for Makayla Marie Harris.”
A mother of one of the survivors released the following statement:
“July 17, 2021, has forever changed me and my life and the lives of my daughter and her friends, and their families will never be the same. This is the day that took my daughter’s innocence away. Her life was violated when she was only doing what many young people do – hang out with friends. Out of the four young ladies that were hanging out that night together, three were shot and one of them lost their life.
“What my daughter and her friends had to go through that day I would never wish on my worst enemy. This was the day that her and her friends had to endure pain that, as a mother, I’ll `never be able to take away or mend the physical wounds that they will forever have.
“This is the day that Makayla’s life was taken. I’ll never understand the intentions this individual or individuals had or why my baby girl and her friends had to be affected by such senseless actions, but one thing I do know is that it was not fair. They did not deserve any of this, and Makayla did not deserve to lose her life like this behind some stupidness.
“As a mother, my heart bleeds for her family, and I don’t think a day will ever go by that I don’t ask “why?” My family is forever scared, and my daughter has to live the rest of her life with these wounds.
“As I try to make sense of it all, my head is at a loss, and my heart is heavy. I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Although finding who caused all this hurt won’t change the outcome. It will not bring Makayla back or remove the scars from these young ladies.
“Someone needs to be held accountable. Makayla will never be seen again on this earth because her life was taken too soon, and the other young women will never be the same because of that. Everyone has a conscience, and my prayer is that someone’s conscience will bring them to speak up for Makayla and the friends she was with that night whose lives have been forever affected by the events of this day.”