PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After a young man was shot and killed in Portland last weekend, family and friends say they won’t give up making sure there is justice as his legacy lives on.

Tyz’Juan James lost his mother to gun violence and now, he’s the latest Portlander to lose his life. His loved ones, who are struggling with their heartache and frustration, say they also want healing and answers.

“We want peace and we want justice and I feel like we deserve it. Any other family here in Portland who has went through anything traumatic such as this, whether big or small, deserves the same justice, also,” said Asianique Savage, James’ older sister. “He would definitely extend his love and support and his opinion about just being your true, authentic self. My little brother would be himself and he would encourage other people to be themselves at all times.”

James loved basketball, video games and giving back to those most in need in the community. His family says that love was rooted in his actions with whoever he met.

“At the end of any of Tyz’Juan’s conversations with anybody, he’d say, ‘I love you,'” recalled his grandmother, Perlia Bell. “Whether we disagreed, ‘I love you, Grandma. Grandma, I love you.'”

Now, his family holds tight to that love. The 20-year-old was shot and killed early Saturday morning near SE Division and 112th. The person responsible is still out there.

“The person who did this, it’s not a secret. We just want this to be peaceful and we want the system to work in the way that it was taught to us,” said Savage.

“There has been someone, this is not a manhunt anymore, and they need to do their job and we need to do what’s right for Tyz’Juan,” added Bell.
KOIN 6 News asked Portland police for any information about the suspect and how soon an arrest can be made but has not heard back.

James’ family knows tragedy more than anyone should ever have to. When he was just a baby, his mom and dad were on the porch when someone opened fire, killing his mom, Asia.

“Was brought to this earth with a father, a loving mother, and loving siblings, at the age of five or six months, his whole life was shaken from him through bullets that went through his house, took his mother and blinded his father. He came in this world with some tragedy and when you say what kind of a person he was, he was a young, Black man in Portland, Oregon, struggling through life, trying to do the best he can. He had people that loved him and he came from a home of love,” said Bell. “He was a gentle giant before his time. I think that since so much was taken from him at a young age, he struggled to figure out why, why was that taken from him, at some point you feel like you fit, but you don’t fit, and you just want to be at peace.”

Moving forward, as they grieve and work to find peace again, they want to do so without any more violence.

“People really need therapy, they really need to learn how to communicate efficiently with each other,” said Bell. “We need to have better communication with each other, don’t let the end result be, ‘I will shoot and kill you.'”

“We do not want any more violence. This is not only a learning opportunity for the Portland Police on how to deal with families of color during a tragedy,” added Savage. “But this is also a learning experience for the community. There are other ways to get your answers and there are other ways to feel okay about a tragic murder that went on within the community.”

The family plans to honor James’ legacy with compassion and love, just as he would.

“I’m going to honor his legacy by doing everything we talked about doing, prior to his death. He wanted me to do my podcast, he wanted me, I’m actively going back to school for my masters,” said Savage. “He wants me and our family and his friends to succeed in life and do everything we said we were going to do.”

Family members tell KOIN 6 they have faith in the justice system and want police and officials to do their jobs with compassion and understanding, again, urging the violence to stop.