PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A memorial potluck was held in honor of Sean Kealiher, a Portland activist who was killed in a hit-and-run.
Kealiher was hit by an SUV outside the Democratic Party Headquarters in Northeast Portland on October 12. Police also found evidence of gunfire at the scene. The 23-year-old died at a hospital his friends rushed him to after the crash that night. The SUV driver fled when the vehicle took out a tree and crashed. No arrests have been made.
Portland Police are still investigating his death as a homicide.
The memorial potluck started at noon on Saturday in Chapman Square. During the event, Kealiher’s mother said she wants people to remember her son by following his ideas.
“Find something they’re passionate about, and step up and really follow through with it,” said Laura Kealiher. “Just do it, stop talking about it. That is one of the things that Sean would get so frustrated about—is that people wanted to talk instead of do.”
Since his death, a memorial at the crash site formed. People left flowers and put out candles. At first, the message “Armenio Rest in Power” was written in chalk on the wall. By the following Monday, spray painted messages covered the wall and sidewalk.
The offices of the Democratic Party of Oregon planned to let the recent collage of spray painted messages on their wall stay up, for now.
“We clearly support the family and folks who lost—we are concerned about having a space for people to mourn,” said Brad Martin, the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “We are concerned about the safety of the people who show up and express their concerns as well as staff.”
“We understand people’s anger and frustration,” said Martin. “They lost someone who means a great deal to them and they are expressing their concern and their anger. We want to be very supportive.”
Investigators are still looking to speak with anyone who witnessed the incident, or the chain of events that led up to the shooting and crash. If anyone has information, they’re asked to contact Detective Scott Broughton at 503.823.3774 or Detective Rico Beniga at 503.823.0457.
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