PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Amado Santos was working at a gas station Monday afternoon in Portland’s Hazelwood neighborhood when someone shot him to death.
The death of the 24-year-old was Portland’s first homicide of 2023 and left his family in disbelief.
Erica Santos said the family lives near the gas station where her brother worked, so they heard the shooting. She said when she tried calling her brother’s phone to make sure he was OK, a woman answered, told her what happened and to come as soon as she could.
“I heard gunshots, so I messaged him (and) I called him,” said Erica Santos, the sister of the victim. “I got here and the ambulance, the cops, they took him.”
Graciela Santos, another sister of Amado, told KOIN 6 News she was at the mechanic when she found out what happened.
“I got the phone call. I collapsed. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. He wasn’t a bad person, everyone loved him. I can only say good things about him,” she said.
The sisters say their brother was beloved by the neighborhood. Now, they’re hoping someone will come forward with information.
“He was happy. He would always cook for everyone, cook for the neighborhood (and) feed the homeless people. I’m going to miss his smile and tight hugs,” Graciela said.
Police said the shooting happened at 2:45 p.m. on Monday. The gas station had a sign on the door Tuesday saying it was closed today due to recent events.
According to the most recent data from police, six of last year’s homicides happened in the Hazelwood neighborhood.
“More (of) the crime seems to be from through-traffic. People are chasing each other,” said Arlene Kimura, President of the Hazelwood Neighborhood Association. “A portion of it is driven by gangs.”
Homicide detectives are looking into the case, which remains open and active. At this time, no arrests have been made.
Police are asking anyone with information about what happened to reach out to their detectives.