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'He wasn't perfect, but he was a good person': Family members remember SE Portland homicide victim

Aaron Follstad-Martin's loved ones gathered to remember him after he was shot and killed last Friday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A wave of gun violence over the weekend claimed four more lives in Portland. On Tuesday, the public learned more about one of those victims, Aaron Follstad-Martin, through the words of his family as they begin to cope with the loss. 

Near the corner of Southeast Powell Boulevard and 124th Avenue, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, Follstad-Martin's family gathered to add flowers, candles and pictures to a memorial. 

His wife, Shalonda Follstad-Martin, told KGW that it's hard to accept this is real. 

"I never thought in my 49 years that I'd be here right now. This is crazy. There is no way I should have to be here," she said through tears. "People get on these cameras and swear up and down that their family member was the best. No, he wasn't perfect, but he was a good person and he didn't deserve nothing that happened to him," Shalonda Follstad-Martin said of her husband.

Aaron Follstad-Martin, a 44-year-old father, was shot and killed on Friday, July 15, according to Portland police. Officers responded just before 8 p.m. and found him dead at the scene. This week, the medical examiner determined his cause of a death to be a gunshot wound and ruled it a homicide. At this time, police have not identified a suspect. 

"I just need these detectives to do their job," Shalonda Follstad-Martin said. "Like, really do their job. Because to me, when our Black men [are] getting killed, they don't care. They do not care."

Aaron Follstad-Martin was Black.

So far this year in Portland, there have been at least 49 homicides and 670 shootings. This weekend alone, four people were killed, including Follstad-Martin, in multiple shootings across the city.

His family called his death, and the shooting deaths of many others, senseless.

"People don't realize when you hurt other people, it doesn't just affect that person," Shalonda said. "People need to think long and hard before they make the choices that they make."

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