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Mom of man shot and killed in Portland remembers son as compassionate, lover of kids and animals

Aaron Williams, 29, was found shot to death over the weekend. Despite his struggles, his mom says he never lost his incredible smile.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The mother of a 29-year-old man found shot to death in Northeast Portland Sunday is determined to get justice for her son. 

"I got up and put two feet in front of each other and said I'll do what I need to do," said Keely Williams, the mother of Aaron Williams. 

Authorities said someone found Aaron's body around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, near Northeast 82nd and Milton. The person flagged a police sergeant who happened to be driving by. 

"It's wrong," Keely said. "You don't shoot people and leave them like cattle or pigs you've hunted."

Keely said Aaron had fallen on hard times and was living on the streets. Despite his struggles, she said, he never lost his love of kids and animals, or his incredible smile.

"His smile could melt mom's heart," Keely said. "That's what my daughter said this morning, 'I'm never going to see that smile again.'"

Credit: Mike Benner, KGW staff
Keely Williams remembers her son following his shooting death.

Multiple people were shot last year on the same corner Aaron was found dead. Two people killed in a shooting at that intersection were rappers affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan. 

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"We know we have a gun violence issue," said Portland Police Sgt. Kevin Allen.

In 2021, there were more than 1,200 confirmed shootings in Portland, and 69 people were killed by gunfire.

Aaron is the sixth person to be shot and killed in 2022. Portland police ask anyone who saw something out of the ordinary to call authorities.

"There's been a lot of work done by detectives on this case as they try to gather information, but when it comes down to it we need help from the public," Sgt. Allen said.

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Keely is hoping someone comes forward with information. There is nothing she wants more than an arrest in the case.

"I want this person found," Keely said. "I want them handcuffed and taken in and going through the justice system."