Fourth Suspect Arrested in Connection to 2013 Red Sunset Park Homicide (Photo)
Gresham, Ore. -- Kevin Luna-Gonzalez, 22, of Gresham was arrested late last night for his involvement in a 2013 shooting that left one man dead and another injured at Gresham's Red Sunset Park. This fourth arrest comes more than two and a half years after the homicide.
Luna-Gonzalez was taken into custody during a traffic stop. Recently indicted by a Multnomah County Grand Jury for crimes related to the 2013 case, he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Murder, Attempted Aggravated Murder, Assault in the First and Second Degrees, and six counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
"It's been a long two and a half years, and there's more work to be done," said Lead Detective Scott Hogan. "But I'm happy the victims, their families, and our community are able to experience some closure."
On July 6, 2013, at 9:27 p.m., police responded to Red Sunset Park in the 2400 Block of Red Sunset Dr., for calls of both fireworks and gunshots. Officers came upon a chaotic scene centered around the basketball court where they found Paulino "Paul" Venancio-Lopez, 33, of Gresham, had been shot and killed. Another man, Omar Merino-Lopez, 22, was identified as a second victim who had been shot in the leg. Merino-Lopez has recovered and Venancio-Lopez is survived by his wife and two young children.
With the assistance of the Beaverton Police Department and the East County Major Crimes Team, two juvenile suspects were contacted a short time after the shooting and arrested. Reynaldo Antonio Ceja, then 15, admitted to being the shooter and has since pled guilty to Murder. Brian Hernandez Cardon, then 17, admitted to supplying the murder weapon and also pled guilty to Murder. Both men are currently serving prison sentences.
Luna-Gonzalez's 24-year-old cousin, Tomas David Luna-Lopez, was similarly indicted in Feb. 2015, and is currently facing charges for murder and other related crimes. All the suspects involved are known to have affiliated with gangs.
Update: Victim of Friday's Shooting Death Identified as 22-year-old Portland Resident (Photo)
Gresham, Ore. -- The man killed in the Friday's shooting near the intersection of SE 174th Ave. and SE Stark St. has been identified as Ravell Deshawn Sterling, 22, of Portland.
Detectives with the East County Major Crimes Team continue to investigate the reasons why Sterling was shot and what connection, if any, he had with the three suspects.
Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the Gresham Police tip line at 503.618.2719.
Three in Custody for Gresham Homicide - 02/06/16
On February 5, 2016 at 2:33 p.m. Gresham Police responded to the report of a man shot near the intersection of SE Stark St. and SE 174th Ave. Police arrived on scene and located an adult male who was deceased. The suspects had already fled the scene.
A short while later, Portland Police located a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description traveling northbound on Interstate 205. A pursuit ensued continuing into Washington State. A Cowlitz County Deputy successfully deployed spike strips on Interstate 5 near the City of Kelso and a Washington State Patrol Trooper used a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to stop the vehicle. Three suspects were taken into custody without further incident.
23 year old Rony Celis of Renton, Washington, 20 year old Charles Moimoi of Seatac, Washington, and 18 year old Clayton Harrell of Des Moines, Washington were booked into the Cowlitz County Jail on charges related to the homicide.
The victim's name is not being released at this time and it is not known if the incident is gang related. The investigation is on-going. Anyone with information in regards to the case is asked to call the Gresham Police at 503.618.2719.
Speed Trap Ahead! Gresham's Traffic Officers Focus on: Safety Belt and Child Restraint Use, Texting, Speeding (Photo)
Gresham, Ore.--Gresham Police Department's traffic division will conduct enhanced patrols throughout Gresham from Monday Feb. 8 through Sunday Feb. 21, looking for unsafe drivers and passengers.
The focus is to educate the public about safety belt and child safety seat laws, and about the dangers of distracted driving. The officers will pay particular attention to drivers who are texting or unlawfully using a mobile communication device while driving. Officers will also focus on drivers who are exceeding the posted speed limit.
The Oregon Revised Statute concerning operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device (ORS 811.507) was upgraded from a Class D to a Class C violation, increasing the base fine from $110 to $160. Failure to properly maintain a vehicle's safety belt is also a Class C violation, while failing to wear a safety belt is a Class D violation.
A statewide observation survey in June 2015 found 97% of Oregon's motorists are using safety belts. Traffic studies continue to show unbelted or improperly restrained occupants are five times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle than occupants who are belted properly. Odds of surviving being ejected from a vehicle are estimated to be one in four.
This safety blitz is funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) with dedicated funding from the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
ODOT provides the following safety belt reminders:
ADULT BELT LAW
Oregon law requires that all motor vehicle operators and passengers be properly secured with a safety belt or safety harness. Limited exemptions are allowed under ORS 811.215. Vehicle owners are required to maintain belt systems in working order.
CHILD RESTRAINT LAW
Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh 40 pounds or reach the upper weight limit for the car seat in use. Infants must ride rear-facing until they reach both one year of age and 20 pounds.
BOOSTER SEAT LAW
Children more than 40 pounds or who have reached the upper weight limit for their forward-facing car seat must use boosters until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, or if they are age eight and the adult belt fits correctly.
(More information regarding seat belt safety can be found at www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/safetybelts.shtml.
Gresham Police Investigate Stabbing - 01/29/16
Gresham, Ore. -- On January 29, 2016 at 5:55 p.m., Gresham Police responded to the report of a man that was stabbed near a residence in the 18800 block of SE Division Street. Police arrived on scene and found that an adult male had been stabbed. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. His present condition is not known. There is no suspect information at this time and the incident is still being investigated. No further information is being released this evening.
Gresham Woman Arrested for Robbing Bank on East Powell Blvd. (Photo)
Gresham, Ore. -- Crediting a rapid patrol response to a bank robbery call at the Bank of America branch on East Powell Blvd., police say officers were able to safely apprehend the robber as soon as she left the building.
Melissa Yvonne Wheatt, 44, of Gresham was arrested for today's robbery and is being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center. Wheatt is expected to be arraigned in front of a judge tomorrow afternoon.
Police responded to a call from inside the bank that a woman, matching Wheatt's description, had just handed a demand note to a teller. Unbeknownst to Wheatt, the first officer arrived at the bank in the 200 block of East Powell at 10:42 a.m., just one minute after the robbery call was dispatched.
Other officers and police detectives arrived shortly after and waited for Wheatt to leave with the ill-gotten cash. As she walked out of the building and headed toward Southeast Roberts Ave. with an undisclosed amount of money, Wheatt was confronted and placed under arrest without further incident.
"We're just thankful no one was hurt," said Detective Dan Marciano, "The bank's employees, the patrons, and the responding officers did a great job."
No further information is available.