A man and woman are dead following an early morning shooting at Embassy Suites near the Portland International Airport Wednesday, Port of Portland Police confirmed to KOIN 6.
Portland Police Bureau officers and Port of Portland officers responded to the hotel on the corner of Northeast Airport Way and Northeast 82nd Avenue around 2 a.m.
KOIN 6 spoke to Gailen David who traveled to Portland for work and was staying at the hotel.
“I was sleeping great and then all of a sudden I heard the gunshots and they just kept going,” said David.
Neither of the two victims have been identified, and so far no information about a suspect has been released.
Gailen said after the gunfire stopped he heard screaming.
“It was blood curdling, I heard these female screams like someone had just witnessed murder,” said Gailen.
Port of Portland Police have yet to answer further questions. They told KOIN 6 the East County Major Crimes Team is investigating. The team is composed of investigators from PPB, Gresham Police, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and Port of Portland.
Loved ones of the victims were gathered in the hotel parking lot for several hours. Gun violence activist Laurie Palmer showed up to help comfort the families.
She said Portland’s gun violence crisis is destroying Black families.
“Our African-American men are dying,” Palmer said. “The numbers are dwindling so low that we will not be able to re-populate our Black family, because the Black man is dying. The young Black man is dying.”
Palmer – whose son was shot and killed in Portland in 2020 – founded the non-profit organization Go Get Your Child. She said she attends church with the father of one of the victims.
She told KOIN 6 the victims’ parents had to go inside the hotel to identify the bodies for authorities.
“And that mother, she came out of there, seen that body and she lost it. That should not be happening – period,” Palmer said. “No mother should have to bury their child. It’s just heartbreaking for both parents.”
Palmer’s organization works to prevent gun violence and also supports grieving families. She believes city and state leaders should prioritize providing resources to families impacted by gun violence in order to help end the cycles of violence.
“Nobody’s investing in them,” said Palmer. “They bury their kids here, then they’re in depression and you leave them like that, then they’re the head of the house, they’re the life vessel, so all these generations are going to continue like this.”
Last November, 18-year-old Parnell Badon Jr., was shot to death at the hotel.
Damariae Reginald Haqq, 20, is accused of shooting Badon Jr. In January, he pleaded not-guilty to second degree murder.
According to court records, Haqq’s trial is set to begin Dec 4, 2023.
KOIN 6 reached out to Atrium Hospitality, the company that owns the Embassy Suites location. They have yet to respond.
This is a developing story. Stay with KOIN 6 News as we work to learn more.