A suspect has been charged in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old McKay High School student in northeast Salem last month.
The charges against Pedro Segura of Salem come less than a month after authorities responded the evening of Jan. 22 to a shooting on Fisher Road NE close to the Columbia Village apartments.
Alfredo "Junior" Hernandez was found shot in the head. He died at the scene.
Authorities investigated overnight but weren't able to make any arrests.
A grand jury on Thursday indicted Segura, 36, on a murder charge related to the death, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon, riot and being a felon in possession of a weapon.
Salem police arrested Segura on Feb. 8, Lt. David Okada said.
He has been lodged at the Marion County jail since then, initially on charges of unlawful use of a weapon, riot and being a felon in possession of a weapon, jail records show. He was held on $500,000 bail.
Alfredo's mother, Dawn Hernandez, was inside Target with her mother Friday when she got the call from the Marion County District Attorney’s Office about the murder charge.
“I burst into tears right there in the middle of Target,” she said. “We have been praying for justice, so it’s a relief that he has been caught.”
Still, she fears Segura won’t be found guilty. And the court proceedings, she’s been told, could stretch for one to two years.
“I thought it would help bring some closure. It hasn’t,” she said, because she still misses her son every day. “I daily still will momentarily forget and think, you know, ‘Where is he?’ or I’ll think he’s going to walk in the door anytime.”
Hernandez was a junior at McKay and had gone to Stephens Middle School.
Following the shooting, McKay Principal Rob Schoepper wrote to staff members and students, "Alfredo will forever be part of our school, our community and our McKay family."
Hernandez's cousin, Jessica Virtue, later said the family hoped he was with the Lord — his faith played a huge role in his life. Alfredo was remembered for his joyful attitude and being a faithful family member and friend. He was an avid BMX biking enthusiast whose 1991 Mustang had been "his pride and joy," Virtue said.
A memorial service was scheduled to take place last month at the Bethany Baptist Church in Salem. Family members created a GoFundMe account to go toward funeral expenses, among other necessities. The account has raised almost $9,500 of its $10,000 goal.
Dawn tells herself a guilty verdict could bring closure, but she suspects nothing will. Instead, “I’m going to learn how to live with the grief, and my mind is very focused on my older son. He still needs a mom,” she said.
As for that 21-year-old son, Alfredo’s father and her: “We ache on a daily basis for Junior, and it’s probably just our new normal now.”
Segura is scheduled for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 20 at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex, Courtroom B. Prosecutors are expected to discuss at least some details of the murder at Tuesday's arraignment.
Segura was convicted in 2000 of carrying or use of a dangerous weapon, second-degree disorderly conduct in 2007, first-degree burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2008.
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