PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Honnai Nielsen said Jennifer Garcia and Charlie Borbon-Lopez were friends of friends. Their sudden, violent deaths impacted so many people who knew them.
On Monday, March 1, Garcia and Borbon-Lopez were shot in Portland’s Cully neighborhood. Garcia, 21, died at the scene in the 5200 block of NE Alberta. Borbon-Lopez died later at a hospital. He was 20.
“You can’t explain the feeling when something like this happens. You’re kind of in shock for a while, and then it slowly goes away. But it’s a hurt that still stays there. He was close to a lot of people,” Nielsen said of her friends. “We need to do better as a community to prevent this stuff from happening.”
A makeshift memorial stands near the site when they were shot and people have stopped by to pay their respects, look at the pictures and share the love.
Nielsen said that area doesn’t have many shootings.
“To know that something like that happened when there were kids here and people skating, it gives you an eerie feel that that could happen anywhere,” she said.
There have already been 19 homicides in Portland in 2021. Since 2016, the number of homicides in the city has steadily grown: 20, 26, 29, 32 and, last year, 54.
Portland police said the case is an active investigation but no suspect information has been released.
“Portland is becoming a place where gang violence is getting really bad, and I just wish something to have these people find something else to do with their lives than just do that,” Nielsen said.