‘He was light of my life’: Mom struggles with son’s murder


Sean Garner was killed Sept. 19 in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Sept. 19 homicide of 44-year-old Sean Garner remains unsolved, according to Crime Stoppers of Oregon.

Portland police responded to that shooting, on North Brandon Avenue along Kenton Park, where they found Sean dead early that Sunday morning.

“It’s the last thing I think of when I go to sleep. And it’s the first thing I think of when I wake up” Sean’s mother, Donna Garner, said.

Detectives told KOIN 6 News that they need all the help they can get tracking down the suspects.

“He was shot in the back of his head. And as a mother I’m just asking anyone, no matter how trivial, to contact detectives.” Garner said. “I just need help to come to terms with this horrible way of losing my son.”

Sean Garner pictured with his son, in an undated photo provided by his family, October 25 2021.

Monday would have been Sean’s 45th birthday as he leaves behind an 11-year-old son. Sean’s mother tells KOIN 6 News that he was very charming and a great artist. Professionally, he worked in construction and lived in Omaha, Nebraska — where Donna and family are. He was visiting Portland when he was killed. 

“I’m asking from my heart that someone help us get to the bottom of this. Our heart’s broken,” Garner said.

This case adds to Portland’s homicide cases, half of which remain unsolved, as the city faces an unprecedented homicide rate this year, police said.

“Cases that go unsolved can be very traumatic for families and for many families, unfortunately, it’s years and years and decades before they get answers,” Crime Stoppers of Oregon Law Enforcement Coordinator Peter Simpson said.

Sgt. Simpson says this is where Crime Stoppers of Oregon helps get cases like Sean’s back in the public discussion — offering up to $2,500 cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to arrests.

“It can really open an investigation where it might have gone cold or gone dormant.” Sgt. Simpson said.

Crime Stoppers gives mother’s like Donna the opportunity for closure.  Anyone can donate to their cause.

A number of Crime Stoppers tips have led to case closures and investigators say no piece of information is too small.

Anonymous tips for Sean’s case and others can be left at Crime Stoppers of Oregon.

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