PORTLAND – New video and testimony shows the suspect charged with murder for an October Southeast Portland MAX station shooting was likely acting in self defense.
Court documents show a grand jury declined to indict 18-year-old Silvano Velasquez in the Oct. 11 shooting that killed a teen and injured another man at the Holgate station.
Velasquez was originally arrested in late October on murder, attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree assault charges.
According to a grand jury indictment obtained by KGW's newspartner the Oregonian, Velasquez was seen in surveillance video smoking a cigarette near the top of the stairs with his girlfriend Jade Grimm around 11:45 p.m. on the night of the shooting.
A man wearing a mask then came up the stairs and passed them. Then, two other men, later identified as 15-year-old Abukar Madey and 23-year-old Alejandro Ramirez-Navarro (also known as Alex Ramirez), joined the masked man and approached Velasquez from behind, the documents show.
Velasquez told Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden that Ramirez tried to start a fight and asked about his gang affiliations. Velasquez said he felt threatened, so he adjusted a gun hidden in his waistband in order to get the men to leave them alone.
Snowden said Velasquez told her Ramirez pulled a large assault rifle that "looked like an AK" from Madey's backpack, which looked like a guitar case, according to the indictment.
Police later recovered a loaded Hi-Point semi-automatic rifle from a guitar case worn by Madey.
The video then reportedly shows Ramirez pointing the rifle directly at Velasquez as Madey is seen pulling out a sawed-off pistol grip shotgun from his front pocket and pointing it at Velasquez and Grimm.
Velasquez told Snowden that Ramirez jabbed him in the chest with the rifle, and after a while, he put it back in the guitar case and Madey put his sawed-off shotgun in his pocket, documents show.
Video shows the three men surround Velasquez and Grimm while Ramirez hands his jacket to Madey and "assumes an aggressive posture," the indictment says. That's when the masked man is seen coming from the left and punching Velasquez twice in the face.
Velasquez said he feared for his life and thought he and his girlfriend were going to be killed or seriously injured, so he pulled out his gun and fired at the three men until he was out of ammunition, documents show. The video shows Madey falling to the ground and then getting kicked by Velasquez who took the sawed-off shotgun and fled on foot.
Velasquez told Snowden he took the gun because he was out of ammunition and feared for his life.
That evening, police swarmed to the MAX station at Southeast 92nd and Southeast Holgate and found Madey dead on the stairs with a gunshot wound to the head.
Ramirez was also found shot several times and taken to the hospital and survived.
Police told KGW in October that Ramirez was a member of a Hispanic street gang in Portland.
Ramirez will be arraigned Thursday in connection with the shooting. Snowden asked that the court order his bail to be increased to $300,000 due to a risk to the community if he is released.
Velasquez will be arraigned on lesser charges of tampering with physical evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm charges Friday.