Murrayhill murder suspect ‘an average, nice kid’


Salvador Martinez-Romero, 20, faces murder and attempted murder charges

HUBBARD, Ore. (KOIN) — The 20-year-old accused of murdering one person and wounding 3 others during a bank robbery and carjacking in Beaverton was described as “very nice and polite” by the property manager of the mobile home park he lived at with his dad.

Dan Marple told KOIN 6 News he only met Salvador Martinez-Romero on Tuesday but “didn’t get any bad vibes off of him at all.”

Martinez-Romero is accused in a stabbing spree that began at the Murrayhill Marketplace shopping center in Beaverton.

One person died and 2 others wounded in a stabbing attack at the Murray Hill shopping center in Beaverton, December 18, 2019 (KOIN)

Janet Risch, 72, died, while 53-year-old Debra Thompson was critically injured. Ian Day, 26, was stabbed in the parking lot of Planet Fitness, and 50-year-old Martha Bashir was stabbed and her vehicle stolen near SW Murray Boulevard and SW Scholls Ferry Road.

Marple said he didn’t know Martinez-Romero was the suspect in the Beaverton case and said he hadn’t been living at the Country Estates mobile home park in Hubbard very long.

“He just seemed like an average, nice kid, young man, I guess, but kid to me,” Marple said. “He seemed like a nice enough kid, presented himself, you know, he didn’t have an attitude, nothing. He wasn’t monotone. He was just like anybody else.”

The murder suspect in the Maryhill Marketplace stabbings in Beaverton lived in this mobile home with his dad in Hubbard, December 19, 2019 (KOIN)

Marple said he told Martinez-Romero that if he continued to stay with his dad he’d have to run a criminal background check and gave him an application to fill out.

Dan Marple is the property manager of the Country Estates mobile home park in Hubbard, December 19, 2019 (KOIN)

“He says, ‘OK, I’ll let you know in the next couple of days,” Marple said, adding Martinez-Romero later offered to help with yard work around the park.

“I said, ‘Are you going to school?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I am. I just finished my GED and I go for the ceremony in January,'” Marple said.

His dad has “always been a perfect tenant, always pays on time, nicest guy, very polite, works hard,” he said. “He’s an asset to the community, really.”

One person died and 2 others wounded in a stabbing attack at the Murray Hill shopping center in Beaverton, December 18, 2019 (KOIN)

Neighbor Leo Duarte said whenever he’s seen Martinez-Romero he was quiet, and said the entire family is nice.

“Everybody is just working class families here doing what they can,” Duarte said. “I honestly don’t know what to think. This isn’t something you expect to happen.”

“It makes you wonder what happens to people, why do they do this stuff,” Marple said. “Why do they do this stuff? What’s going on in their head?”

Salvador Martinez-Romero in his first court appearance to hear charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery in the Murrayhill Marketplace stabbing spree, December 19, 2019 (KOIN)

Planet Fitness witness

David Erlandson was in the gym at Planet Fitness when he was told the facility was in lockdown. He walked over the front door “and saw that there was a young man on the floor and there was kind of a trail of blood that came all the way from the door all the way around the check-in.”

He was back on Thursday and saw the growing memorial of flowers outside the Wells Fargo branch for the victims of the stabbing spree.

“When you see the flowers you think of people who come here or are here everyday, and this was just random,” Erlandson told KOIN 6 News. “It’s just so tragic for the victims and families to experience that and it kind of wakes us all up and reminds us to be good to each other and be a community.”

A growing memorial for the stabbing victims was placed outside the Wells Fargo branch in the Murrayhill Marketplace in Beaverton, December 19, 2019 (KOIN)

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