PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Multnomah County grand jury re-indicted a man on multiple counts in connection to three killings in Portland that appear to be unconnected.
54-year-old Joseph Kelly Banks is accused of murder, attempted murder, assault and unlawful use of a weapon – all with a firearm. The jury’s indictment includes 15 counts in total.
KOIN 6 News obtained court documents stating Banks’ address at the Cameron Care Center in Northeast Portland, which is listed as a “transitional program that provides residential care and treatment for adults with mental illness.”
Shooting death: Mark Johnson
According to court documents, the first murder count accuses Banks of “unlawfully and intentionally” causing the death of 55-year-old Mark Johnson in early March.
Johnson was shot to death on March 1 near Dawson Park. When officers arrived at the scene, in the 2900 block of North Williams Avenue, they found the man already dead with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.
On February 28, 2022, in an unrelated incident, Portland Police officers responded to a shooting near the North Williams Avenue and Northeast Stanton Street intersection. Police learned someone had been shot several times and was taken to a hospital.
Five minutes later, there was another shooting in the 3700 block of Northeast Garfield Avenue. Officers found a man who appeared to have a gunshot wound and was also taken to a hospital.
Banks was arrested days later in relation to the two shootings.
He was also charged with the attempted murder of two others in connection to a shooting on Feb. 28 close to the scene of the Dawson Park shooting.
The document said that both victims “did not substantially contribute to the commission of the above-described offense by precipitating the attack.” This is in relation to two assault charges against Banks.
Neighbors told KOIN 6 News how they felt about the repeated violence in the area.
Shooting death: Jeff Ramirez
Banks is also charged with the murder of Jeff Ramirez, who was shot and killed while running errands in Southeast Portland in early February.
Thomas Smith, a family member of Ramirez, said “he was an amazing person. He was loved, he loved his dog and his family, he had just gotten a new job at OHSU and was just excited about that.”
Ramirez died from a gunshot wound to the torso when he was shot near SE 119th and Stark. He was 35.
Another man who was wounded was found a few blocks away. Police did not identify the other person shot but court documents list a count of attempted murder of Stephen Christopher Barrera on Feb. 2.
Shooting death: Isaiah Hurst
Banks is also charged with the murder of 39-year-old Isaiah Hurst on Jan. 2. Hurst was shot and killed on the corner of North Morgan Street and Vancouver Avenue in the Piedmont neighborhood in Portland.
KOIN 6 News is working to find out if investigators learned a motive and what evidence they have that leads them to believe Banks was the shooter in these cases.
“It’s still like a weird messed up nightmare, trying to figure out why, it’s senseless,” Smith said.
Banks was back in court on Tuesday for a re-arraignment and submitted a “not guilty” plea. A trial is scheduled for May.