PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two teenagers are facing 1st-degree murder and robbery charges in a New Year’s Eve killing that left a 23-year-old father dead in Gresham.
Jacob Cadle and Zion Evans, each 18, were charged in the death of Joshua Cermack. Shots rang out near NE 188th and Irving around 8:45 p.m. December 31 and Cermack was dead by the time officers arrived.
Another man, Christian Stai, was also wounded and is now said to be suffering life-threatening injuries.
Cadle and Evans were arrested Monday night when the East Metro SWAT team searched a home in the 18500 block of NE Everett. They are expected to appear in a Multnomah County courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators said Stai had arranged to sell marijuana to the suspects but Cadle and Evans instead made plans to rob Stai and Cermack.
Evans admitted to pointing his gun at Stai and said he saw Cermack reach for something in his sweatshirt, according to investigators. That’s when he allegedly opened fire. Police said he admitted to firing 6 rounds.
Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News reveal Cermack was found dead behind the wheel of a Dodge pick up. Stai, 21, had been shot at least twice.
Later, investigators found Facebook Messenger messages between Stai and Evans to set up the deal. When the Dodge pickup arrived at the scene around 7 p.m. “audio recording captured multiple gunshot sounds within seconds after the arrival” of the truck.
In the arrest affidavit, investigators said Evans told them he never saw Cermack pull out a weapon and, according to police, there was no evidence of gunfire from inside the truck. Evans told detectives he wasn’t sure how many rounds Cadle fired.
‘Funny, outgoing, sweet’
Monica Pettigrove described her cousin Joshua Cermack as “funny,” “outgoing” and “sweet.”
“He was Grandma’s boy, he could do no wrong,” Pettigrove said. “He was definitely a protector. If anything happened to me and my older sister, he was right there backing us up.”
For Pettigrove, news of her cousin’s death reached her on New Year’s Day.
“I was stunned and all these tears started falling down, just uncontrollably, my heart in that instant just broke,” she said.
His sister Sheila Leham told KOIN 6 News she “didn’t know what to do” when she received the news of her brother’s death.
“I just hope people would think before they act; think about how you’re going to impact other people,” she said.
Cermack, who lived in Portland and worked at a metal shop, leaves behind 9-year-old twin boys.
“There’s no reason this should’ve happened,” Leham said. “If you want something that bad then go talk to somebody, go find it — don’t just try to steal it and end somebody’s life because they were trying to protect themselves.”