PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The mother of a person who was shot and killed in downtown Portland two weeks ago is speaking out after the tragedy.
Portland police say 22-year-old Gabrielle Dozhier was gunned down by 36-year-old Kirk Mickels earlier this month at an apartment complex near SW 12th and Clay St. Mickels is facing a second-degree murder charge.
Gabrielle’s mother said that her daughter needed help, but fell through the cracks.
“I’ve known for a long time that I was going to lose my Gabby girl, but I didn’t think it was going to be to murder,” said Gabrielle’s mother, Mindy Dozhier. “They were always telling jokes, trying to lift people up, trying to be there for people. (They) always lived a life of service when they were at their best, you know, when they weren’t lost in their addiction or their mental illness.”
Gabrielle used they/them pronouns and was known to family and friends as ‘breeze.’
Investigators say on April 10th, Mickels was at his apartment smoking meth with two women. At some point in the evening, the group got into an argument, which is when detectives say Mickels pistol-whipped one woman in the head and then shot Gabrielle in the chest.
Gabrielle died on the way to the hospital.
“I said please, no, because knew as soon as he said I’m (a) detective, you know, he said his name. I knew, I knew, knew my baby was dead,” Dozhier said when a detective gave her the news that her daughter had been killed.
Dozhier said that Gabrielle lived in affordable housing in Portland and tried for a long time to recover from substance abuse, checking themselves into rehab what seemed like over and over again.
“They (would) get cycled right back out, like quick, within a day or two,” Dozhier said.
Dozhier believes it was mental illness and substance abuse that ultimately led to Gabrielle’s tragic and untimely death, saying that things would’ve turned out much different for her only child had they gotten ahold of desperately needed resources.
“I’m angry that she didn’t get the help she needed. The system is not set up to help addicts or mentally ill people. It’s set up to manage them,” she said.