PORTLAND -- A strong police presence Tuesday surrounded the funeral for the young man gunned down in gang violence a month earlier in downtown Portland.
Both uniformed and undercover officers patrolled inside and outside the Maranatha Church on 4222 NE12th Street, during AndrePayton's memorial, which began at 11 a.m.
Even the mayor himself spoke out before the funeral, warning gang members that no gang action would be tolerated.
Payton was gunned down in the early hours of Sept. 26th in downtown Portland, although his family has denied that he was part of a gang.
Friends and family urged everyone to put aside their differences for the memorial. It's about being there for his mom. Being her support, one person who attended the funeral said to KGW.
Mayor Sam Adams has made new promises recently to renew the focus on major efforts to end the violence between gangs.
Later this week, a Portland Police Bureau sergeant was expected to be named to head a police task force on curbing gang gun violence.
You better be safe and you better be peaceful, because we have every resource we can out on the streets, the mayor said.
Sam Thompson works for the neighborhood-based education program Self Enhancement Inc. He knew Payton and thinks the solution comes from within the community.
We need to come up with some resources. Period, he said. We need resources. If we're asking these kids to put their guns down, they need something else to do.
Thompson is working on a long-term campaign to engage adults in helping to mentor and raise children, teaching them about morals and respect.
I feel that we need to get back to that where everyone is looking out for everyone's children, he said, because kids need more than just their household.
While applauding the mayor's efforts at creating a gun task force, he suggested that Adams steer money towards education and labor training.
Meantime, Payton's killer remains on the streets.
Anyone with information should call Portland police or the Crime Stoppers program at (503) 823-HELP.