PORTLAND, Ore. — A woman accused of shooting and killing her 41-year-old boyfriend after getting into an argument at a bar early Thanksgiving Day in North Portland was arraigned at the Multnomah County Courthouse on Tuesday.
Portland police arrested Barbara Marie Michelle, 43, on one count of first-degree assault and she faces homicide charges.
Officers responded to a shooting at Bluebird Tavern near North Lombard Street and North Alta Avenue at 1:46 a.m. on Nov. 24. According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim, later identified as 41-year-old Justin Lee Williams, was laying on the ground after being shot by his girlfriend, Michelle. Williams was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
One of the responding officers spoke with a woman who had called 911 at the scene. The woman said she had been inside the tavern when a man and woman, Williams and Michelle, got into an argument and were asked to leave, according to the affidavit. The woman told police that she went outside where the two continued to argue. She stated hearing the woman say, "Get away from me, I'll shoot you. Get away," while the man tried to grab hold of her.
According to the affidavit, the woman turned her back to them and heard a gunshot. She said she then saw the woman run around in a confused state before driving away.
While this was unfolding, an officer was diverted to a related welfare check at North Hodge Avenue, about two miles away, where a 911 caller reported a woman screaming in the area. The officer who responded to the welfare check found Michelle and took her into custody. The officer said Michelle, without questioning her, stated multiple times, "He was attacking me, I didn't do anything wrong" and also stated, "I was protecting myself," according to the affidavit.
Michelle was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Two days after the shooting, Williams died while still at the hospital on Nov. 26, according to Portland police.
Large cities across the U.S., including Portland, continue to grapple with the ongoing rise of shootings and gun violence. There has been a total of 89 homicides so far in 2022 and more than 1,100 confirmed shootings, according to Portland police. The city saw 90 homicides in 2021 and more than 1,200 shootings, marking the deadliest year in the city's modern history. In 2019, Portland police reported less than 400 shootings.
Anyone with information about the deadly shooting on Nov. 24, or anyone who believes they may have captured it on video, is asked to contact Detective Travis Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-823-0395, or Detective Ryan Foote at email@example.com or 503-823-0781 and reference case number 22-313020.