7 shot at Gresham vigil; murder suspect arrested later

Crime

Suspect taken into custody without incident

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — Seven people were shot in Gresham late Monday night while attending a vigil for a man who was shot and killed at that same spot on Sunday.

Alejandro Barajas, 22, in an undated photo. He was shot to death in Gresham on April 25, 2021 (KOIN)

The shooting at 174th and Stark happened around 11:30 p.m. while people were attending a vigil for 22-year-old Alejandro Barajas. Gresham police said they were still investigating that shooting when they got the call about this multiple-victim incident.

A dark SUV drove past the vigil and opened fire at those in attendance, police told KOIN 6 News. Seven people were wounded but are expected to survive.

On Wednesday, GPD said those injured included four men and three women — all of whom were adults.

At roughly the same time as the mass shooting, Omar Cibiran Gongora was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Multnomah County Jail Tuesday in connection with the Barajas slaying.

Authorities said Gongora was not connected to the drive-by shooting on Monday night. The investigation into this shooting continues.

These weren’t the only shootings late Monday.

Just before 11 p.m. Portland police were called to a shooting at SE 151st and Stark where they found 32 shell casings. A man with a gunshot wound later checked himself into a hospital.

Then around 11:30 p.m., there was another shooting at 126th and Stark, where police found 11 shell casings. Then at midnight, a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the leg showed up at a hospital.

Beer and flowers left at a vigil in Gresham where Alejandro Barajas was shot to death on April 25, 2021. The next night, 7 people were shot at this same spot, April 26, 2021. (KOIN)

Sam Sachs, a community activist with The No Hate Zone, is outraged by the gun violence.

“Seven people were just shot and there’s, like, no outrage. I don’t understand that,” Sachs told KOIN 6 News. “It’s just crazy to me. At a memorial for somebody they loved, they couldn’t even come out and mourn their loved one without being shot.”

Gresham Deputy City Manager Corey Falls said in a statement police are “pursuing any and all leads” about the shooting at the vigil.

“Gun violence has been on the rise across our region in recent months; one of the priorities of the City this year is to focus on our modern public safety strategies,” Falls said. “While the issues that lead to increased violence are complex, we are committed to continuing to work with our community to develop strategies to prevent violence.”

Gresham Police Chief Claudio Grandjean said the role of the police once this happens “is to investigate it and hold people accountable. We’re doing that part. But certainly there’s no quesiton more has to be done in the other part” in bringing in community organizations to address the root cause of the gun violence.

Beer and flowers left at a vigil in Gresham where Alejandro Barajas was shot to death on April 25, 2021. The next night, 7 people were shot at this same spot, April 26, 2021. (KOIN)

“The gun violence that unfolded in Gresham on Monday shows the urgent need for more community-based programs that work to prevent gun violence and that respond to the emotional trauma left behind,” Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt said in a statement Tuesday.” The outcome of this shooting could have been much different. We acknowledge the paramedics and hospital staff across the metro who are still helping the victims recover from the physical injuries resulting from this brazen act of violence.”

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