Portland activist’s mom: Don’t talk to media about his death


Sean Kealiher was 23

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a very brief announcement, the mother of a Portland activist asked everyone to refrain from any public comments about her son’s death in a hit-and-run crash in front of the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters.

Laura Kealiher read her prepared statement to the gathered news media at the scene where her 23-year-old son, Sean, was hit Saturday night. Kealiher died at a hospital after his friends rushed him there.

Laura Kealiher said:

“I am requesting that no one give statements to the media or make public statements regarding my son’s death. This is to include posting on social media on my behalf as I want all public statements to stop. They just fuel the rumor mill which everyone close to Sean has had to suffer through. Some of you may be inclined to continue to leave messages on the Democratic Party of Oregon’s offices after it has been cleaned up. I’m requesting that you refrain. For anyone that is interested there will be a memorial potluck for Sean on October 26 at noon at Chapman Square. Thank you for your time. However I will not be taking any questions.”

Sean D. Kealiher in an undated photo his family provided police with. October 12, 2019. (Courtesy Portland Police Bureau)

Reports indicate Kealiher, an activist and anarchist who went by the name Armenio, may have just left the nearby bar Cider Riot. That’s the spot where a brawl broke out in May between antifa and Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys members.

The SUV driver fled after his vehicle took out a tree and crashed into the Democratic Party building. No arrests have been made. Police initially responded to a report of gunshots and found bullet holes in the SUV just after midnight Saturday.

After Kealiher died, the Democratic Party building was tagged with graffiti. Brad Martin with the Democratic Party said the graffiti will remain for the time being to give people a chance to grieve, but they’ve already “recruited professional painters” to clean it up.

Brad Martin with the Oregon Democratic Party in Portland, October 15, 2019 (KOIN)

“We wanted to give people the chance to grieve,” Martin said. “He was a remarkable young man who’s touched so many people.”

The exact timing of when the graffiti will be cleaned up hasn’t been determined since rain is coming. Martin said members of the Western States Center are involved in helping the clean up.

There is now a $2500 reward from Crime Stoppers of Oregon for information leading to the arrest of those involved.

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