PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Friends and family of 19-year-old Paul Krekeler are still desperate for answers and closure eight years after his death.
On July 22, 2014, neighbors in the area near Southeast Harold and 57th heard gunshots just before 11 p.m. When officers arrived, they found Krekeler laying on the ground in the yard of a home. Investigators determined he was likely running north when he collapsed at that spot.
The 19-year-old died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the chest.
One of Krekeler’s friends, Kemper Woodruff, told KOIN 6 News he was disheartened to learn the Portland Police Bureau shuttered the cold case unit recently — but he still has hope police could solve the homicide.
With homicides soaring across Portland, he’s concerned so many more people are now in his position of losing loved ones.
“The gun crime is crazy in this state right now,” Woodruff said. “It really is a crisis.”
He said he saw the mayor’s press conference on Thursday, but felt like the mayor didn’t lay out his strategy and solution to the problem well enough.
KOIN 6 News reached out to the mayor’s office, who responded in a written statement:
“My condolences go out to the friends and family of this victim. During yesterday’s press conference, we set intentional goals and laid out a careful plan to address this crisis with a scaled response, including our efforts to increase staffing to continue investigating cold cases. We have more work to do, but we won’t stop until gun violence stops.”
Police asked anyone with information to contact them.