GRESHAM, Ore. - Family members and friends of a slain Portland teenager gathered Sunday to pay their respects at the site where the 17-year-old was killed a day earlier.
The victim, Jose Morales, was described as a caring person whom others looked up to.
Gresham police responded to a report of a shooting near the intersection of Southeast 187th and Southeast Stark Saturday night. There, Morales was found shot to death.
Police have arrested four people in connection to the shooting, which is believed to be gang related.
“It’s an extreme impact for me,” said Adali Enriquez, Morales' grandmother. Through an interpreter, Enriquez recalled the day her grandson was born prematurely and was in danger of dying due to asthma. She performed CPR on him at the time. “Now I can’t resuscitate him anymore. I can’t do anything anymore.”
“All he wanted was to be happy and to have a home," said Morales' mother, Celia Santiago. “I’m sure he was thinking about us and how he wouldn’t be able to help us. I’m really positive about that.”
Santiago said her son had been saving up money from a job at a local arcade. “He was a person that a lot of people looked up to and he gave advice to,” she said.
Family and friends created a makeshift memorial along Southeast 187th Avenue, where Morales was shot. At 10:20 Sunday night, those in attendance released balloons in memory of the teen.
Four suspects in the case have been arrested and charged with murder.
Isai Guzman-Ramirez, 20, of Portland, will be arraigned in court Monday. The other three suspects are Obed Garcia, 15, of Wood Village, and brothers Francisco Martinez-Chavez, 16, and Cristian Martinez-Chavez, 17, of Troutdale.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover the cost of Morales' funeral expenses.