A 22-year-old suspect was arrested early Saturday morning in connection with a shooting at a Portland, Oregon school. The incident injured four students including one remaining in critical condition.
The site of this shooting, Rosemary Anderson High, supports 200 at-risk students who have been expelled from traditional schools, become homeless, or dropped out. It offers high school remedial learning as well as job training. Students reported hearing the three shots before one of the victims ran into the building requesting assistance. Three people, including the shooter, fled the scene after the shots discharged.
The suspect, Lonzo Deshawn Murphy, was arrested by Det. Brian Sims of the Portland Police Department’s gang enforcement division. The officers secured an emergency search warrant earlier to investigate an apartment at the 200 block of North Killingsworth, about five blocks from the school. They discovered Murphy in his car at 1:30 AM at the nearby intersection of North Interstate and Going Street.
Officers located a handgun in the search and booked Murphy thereafter at 6:27 AM Saturday. He is currently being held without bail and facing parole violation charges in connection with a 2013 conviction.
Facts later revealed that the shooting did not take place inside the school as originally feared. Rather, it occurred near the school and likely due to a personal argument. The shooting suspect is likely affiliated with one of the gangs in Portland and those connections are being investigated in light of his arrest.
None of the victims have known gang affiliations and it is unknown if they were unfortunate bystanders or also targeted by the assailant. Information is still surfacing regarding the motives of this crime.
Victims are students at Rosemary Anderson High School and were conscious and breathing when they were moved to Legacy Emmanuel for treatment. Taylor Zimmers, 16, faced the worst injuries and is in critical condition. David Jackson-Liday, 20, and Labraye Franklin, 17, sustained less serious injuries and are reported in fair condition. A 17-year-old who suffered a grazing wound was treated at the scene and released.
Schools in the north Portland area took immediate precautions while police tracked down suspects. Rosemary Anderson High School locked down but resumed classes that afternoon at 1:15 PM. Nearby Jefferson High School and Portland Community College also deployed lockdowns but lifted them that at 2:00 PM.
The suspect faced numerous incidents with the law, although this is his first alleged murder charge. His previous charges include interfering with public transportation and theft of services, with those dating November 29, 2002. He was sentenced to bench probation and anger management classes. A 2013 robbery conviction violated probation for those offenses and he was eventually placed back on parole before his arrest in connection with this shooting.
The quick arrest was a good hoped-for result for an area that was shaken by the shooting. Portland police officers were commended for their quick response in interviewing witnesses, identifying suspects, and making a quick arrest. Meanwhile, the community at Rosemary Anderson High School makes strides toward healing and maintaining its good reputation in the neighborhood.
By: Jocelyn Mackie
Photo by Leon Brocard – Flickr License