‘Cowardly, heinous’ crime ends in lengthy prison terms


Nakiem Brown, Rashad Banks shot a boy, his mother in Gresham in 2017

Rashad Banks, Nakiem Brown, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two 26-year-old men will spend years in prison for their roles in an “intentional, cowardly, heinous and violent” incident that left a 9-year-old and his mother shot numerous times.

Nakiem Brown and Rashad Banks were sentenced Tuesday for their roles in the May 22, 2017 shooting in Gresham. Brown will spend 5 years in prison while Banks will spend 20 years behind bars.

Multnomah County Senior Deputy DA David Hannon said, “We saw an unprecedented degree of intentional, cowardly, heinous and violent actions in this case.” He noted the boy was left blinded in one eye because of “this callous and cold blooded shooting.”

The case

May 22, 2017, around 4:30 a.m., a targeted gang shooting carried out at a Gresham apartment left a mother and her 9-year-old son critically wounded — but the target unharmed and uncooperative.

That day in 2017, Cherie Thompson was shot 3 times. Her son, Lamar, was shot 9 times.

“They were not injured,” said Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney David Hannon, who prosecuted this case with Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Zimmerman. “They were not hurt. They were shot and they were maimed.”

But the intended target, Ervan Ronell Herring Jr., escaped injury as did a 2-year-old girl.

The case and the motive

“They set out with a plan,” Zimmerman said of the shooters when they were convicted in December 2019. “They were hunting.”

Rashad Banks, Christopher Jordan_529217
Rashad Banks, Christopher Jordan, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Banks, Brown and Jordan — members of the Hoover Gang — were in contact with each other before and after the shooting, investigators said. They were also in contact with other gang members to plan and carry out the murder of Herring Jr., who was in a rival gang.

Detectives at the time found multiple 9mm and .40 caliber shell casings inside the bedroom. Investigators took that to mean there was more than one shooter.

By October 2017, police arrested 3 people in connection with the shooting in the 1300 block of NE 183rd Avenue: Rashad Banks, Christopher Jordan and Nakiem Brown.

Nakiem Brown, 2017

All were charged with multiple counts of attempted aggravated murder, criminal conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree assault and burglary.

In 2017, KOIN 6 News learned Nakiem Brown is related to at least 2 of the suspects charged with the death of Ervaeua Herring, who was pregnant when she was murdered August 17, 2014 by a “barrage of bullets fired from at least 6 different guns at and through the sliding back door of her apartment.”

The trial

As the Gresham case approached trial, all the defendants waived their Constitutional right to a jury trial and opted to have their cases presented directly to Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Souede.

In December 2019, Judge Souede handed down his verdicts:

Rashad Banks

  • Convicted of 4 counts attempted murder, 2 counts assault with a firearm, 1 count burglary with a firearm, 3 counts unlawful use of a weapon, 1 count being a felon in possession of a firearm with a firearm enhancement
  • Acquitted of 2 counts of attempted murder, 2 counts of criminal conspiracy to commit murder, 1 count of unlawful use of a weapon.
  • Banks will be sentenced February 21, 2020.

Nakiem Brown

  • Convicted of 1 count of being a felon in possession of a firearm with firearm enhancement.
  • Acquitted of all other charges.
  • Brown will be sentenced February 18

Christopher Jordan

  • Acquitted of all counts

Details of the shooting

Herring Jr. told police he heard the glass on the rear sliding door break and then heard a gun being loaded. But he did not cooperate with investigators and at trial said he couldn’t remember almost anything that led to Lamar being shot.

Cherie Thompson said when she heard the front door being kicked in, she picked up Lamar and put him in the bedroom with Herring Jr. and his daughter. But that’s when someone walked in and started shooting. She screamed for them to stop because there were “babies in the room.”

Lamar was shot in the head, neck and abdomen. He lost his left eye and has some partial paralysis on his left side.

Ervaeua Herring’s killer sentenced

Jeffrey Lamont Sims was initially charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in July 2019, almost 5 years after the shooting death of the pregnant 21-year-old in her Eastwood Village Apartment.

Jeffrey Lamont Sims was sentenced to prison for the 2014 slaying of Ervaeua Herring, October 11, 2019 (KOIN)

Sims was sentenced to 6 years, 3 months in prison, with credit for time served.

He declined to speak at his sentencing.

Herring’s mother, Aleasha Branch, voiced her disapproval at the sentence, but turned things over to a higher power.

“God has the first and last say and we’ll leave it at that.”

The others involved in her shooting

Besides Sims, 5 other people were charged in her shooting death:

  • Demetruis Brown, Kelani Brown and Deanthony Simmons are currently awaiting trial.
  • Tony Lamar Brown previously pleaded guilty to murder with a firearm, burglary and unlawful use of a weapon.
  • Geontae Jones pleaded guilty to murder and manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.

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