3 arrested in deadly Portland club shooting

3 arrested in deadly Portland club shooting

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 20 at 8:28 AM

PORTLAND -- A Southeast Portland man died after getting shot in the parking lot of the Mystic Gentleman's Club late Wednesday evening and police arrested three men for the death.

Police identified him Thursday morning as Robert Edward Ford Jr., 31. His family told KGW he was a caring father and a good friend.

The shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. outside the strip club at 9950 SE Stark. Responding officers found Ford with gunshot wounds inside a car he had been driving. He was rushed to a Portland hospital where he later died, said Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Late Thursday afternoon, police said they had arrested three people in the case.  Cleveland Dante Nelson III, 28, of Northeast Portland and Mark Edward Hardy Jr., 27, of North Portland were arrested and charged with murder. India Ludelia Vasquez, 25, was arrested for tampering with evidence.

Ford's mother said not only did she lose a son, but four children lost their loving father. 

"He was honest and loving. He would do anything for anybody, give you the shirt off his back," a deeply shaken Debra Ford said.  "I think whoever did it was cruel. He didn't deserve that, he didn't deserve it at all."

Steve Schumacher, owner of Rip City Party Bus, told KGW that he and about 15 clients having a bachelor party pulled into the parking lot about 10:45. Most went inside the club, about four or five stayed on the bus.

Schumacher said he was inside when a club employee ran up and told him someone had hit the bus.

"I come running out here and as I run out the door, I see the car here, tires spinning, smoke coming off from the radiator," he said, "So I run around to the side and by then, other people were already tending to the driver. And I thought it was just a drunk driver that came in and ran into the bus, and all of a sudden people start saying that he had been shot."

A silver Lexus involved in the shooting left eastbound on Stark, witnesses told police. Gresham police stopped a similar car at 192nd and Burnside. Four people in that car were questioned and three were eventually arrested, Simpson said.

A motive in the shooting remains unclear, but Ford has a lengthy criminal history and affiliations with gangs, Simpson said. Investigators said they believe the shooting was gang-related.

Ford's family said that's not the man they knew.

"He was a kind person. He helped everybody. He loved his kids so much. He had three boys and one daughter," Debra said.

Anyone with tips that may help investigators was asked to call (503) 823-3333.  The public faces no risk from the shooting, Simpson said.

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