PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Laray Seamster was killed 4 years ago, then-Mayor Charlie Hales said the growing number of homicides in Portland was “an apocalypse of death among young men in our city.”
But no one has ever been arrested in Seamster’s death and his killing remains unsolved.
When shots rang out in the afternoon of November 11, 2015, there were many witnesses in the area of N. Vancouver Avenue and Fargo Street in Portland.
The Red Cross is nearby and spokesperson Paula Negele said 3 of their volunteers helped Seamster. One was a nurse and 2 others were trained to respond to disasters.
A witness, Shaun Boyce, told KOIN 6 News that day he heard several shots.
“Four or five shots back-to-back real quick, and then the gentleman that was shot was laying on the ground,” he said.
Another witness, Karen Dieringer, told KOIN 6 News she also heard 5 shots.
“Five really staccato kind of shots, and then two gentlemen running down Vancouver as fast as they could,” she said.
Seamster died later that day at a hospital. He was 26.
Now, 4 years later, Seamster’s mother, Erica West, said he was killed outside the Vancouver Avenue Baptist Church, the family’s church for more than 30 years. In fact, she said, he was baptized at that church.
West said she’d love for the case to be solved and does not believe this is gang-related.
“I would just say if you know something, God is a forgiving God and I will forgive you too,” West told KOIN 6 News. “I can’t do judgment, I’m not the judge, the jury, but just do what’s right.”
Her son left behind 4 children and 5 younger brothers and sisters. His family is holding a candlelight vigil at the scene beginning at 6 p.m.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a reward of up to $2500 for information that leads to an arrest in this — or any — felony. Tipsters submit tips online.