PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A teenager was shot to death at a “viral” party at an Airbnb in Rock Creek early Sunday and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is still searching for a suspect.
Deputies identified the victim Sunday night as 18-year-old Fermin Alonso-Alonso of North Plains. The teenager graduated from Glencoe High School in June. He was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Gunfire rang out around 12:45 a.m at a home in the 17700 block of NW Connett Meadow Court, officials said. Deputies were called after the shooting followed “an altercation at a large party.” Authorities told KOIN 6 News “dozens,” possibly “hundreds,” of people were at the party.
The home is an Airbnb that was rented for the party. Airbnb released this statement on Monday: “We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. The safety of our community is our priority. We have permanently banned this guest from our platform, we have offered our assistance to local law enforcement and we are fully supporting our host. To date, there have been over 400 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings; negative incidents are extremely rare.”
Deputy Jeff Talbot with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the location of the party was posted on social media and it quickly went viral.
“We had an influx of folks, from Keizer, Vancouver as well as the Portland-Metro area,” Talbot said.
Investigators said many people fled before authorities arrived, including the shooter. Despite a search, no suspect has been found. Investigators continue to talk with witnesses from the party and want to speak with others who were there and took off before deputies arrived.
Before the shooting happened, Julie Luttrell, a nearby resident, considered calling the non-emergency line after noise from the party escalated. Then, two minutes later, they heard four shots rang out. She said she was shocked the party resulted in gunfire.
“Up until then we just thought there were kids out there. We weren’t going to make a big deal out of it,” she said. “We didn’t hear any fighting or anything going on, but its one of those things now looking back, I wish we had called sooner.”
Allison Bonebrake is neighbors with Alonso-Alonso, who is her boyfriend’s cousin. She said he was a photographer, a good kid who was there for anyone in need. He was someone people would look up to.
“It’s horrible,” she said, adding that she was in tears over the shock of his death. “This is not the way things should have to go.
“He didn’t get to experience life.”
On Monday, about 70 people showed up to the Compound Gallery in Portland to light candles for Alonso-Alonso, a person many considered a shining light, himself.
“I’m so completely numb to the fact,” said Julian Granade. “It’s really hard to believe that someone this amazing is gone.”
Jackie Parra had been classmates with Alonso-Alonso since they were in seventh grade.
“He always had a smile on his face no matter what,” Parra said. “He was just the type of person to lift your spirit and make you laugh.”
He was also a good person, someone who wouldn’t put himself in a bad situation, friends said. That’s why some believe he was trying to breakup a fight when he was shot.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he tried to help out his friend and stop the fight. Honestly, that is just the type of person he is,” Parra said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503.846.2700.