PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — October 18, 2015 was a Sunday. Around 11:15 p.m. gunfire erupted in the parking lot behind Dante’s at SW 3rd and Burnside. Dion Anthony Matthews Jr. was mortally wounded and in the 7 years since no one has been arrested.
Witnesses told investigators there were people running from the area and vehicles driven away right after the shooting.
Matthews Jr. was 23.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest in any felony crime.
“He was so active, so energetic, his smile was contagious, he was funny,” recalled Taunya Mayo, Matthews Jr.’s mom.
A young dad, Matthews Jr. had a bright future ahead — a future taken away in an instant.
“The worst experience that a mother or parent could ever receive,” said Mayo. “I get told all the time that my son is in a better place, he’s not suffering, but I’m like, my son wasn’t suffering here on earth. He had just turned 23. He was just beginning to live. He was a young dad. He wasn’t suffering. It was someone else that was suffering, and they decided to take my child’s life because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Witnesses reported seeing people running from the area and vehicles being driven away in the moments after. Seven years later, Mayo says she still doesn’t know why her son was targeted or who is responsible — a nightmare that’s haunted her every day since that phone call. Now living in Southern California, she says it’s heartbreaking to see more families impacted by the gun violence in Portland.
“There’s so many families and parents and children without parents and without a dad or without a mother, due to senseless acts like this,” said Mayo.
For her son, she says she’ll never give up fighting for justice.
“Only thing I can continue to do is pray and have hope that they will do the right thing,” said Mayo.