Man shot and killed was trying to turn his life around, friends say

Man shot and killed was trying to turn his life around, friends say »Play Video
Ramone Devon Taylor

PORTLAND, Ore. - A 31-year-old man who died after being shot early Thursday morning was trying to get his life back on track, according to his friends.

Ramone Devon Taylor died of a gunshot wound to the head, police said Thursday night.

At about 3:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Mitchell Court Apartments near Southeast Foster and 72nd, gun shots rang out. Witnesses said they heard three to five shots.

Moments earlier, neighbor Janie DeLashmit had looked out her window.

"I seen a black man walking back and forth behind (a) truck and two people in the car – they were acting like they were fighting," she said.

Minutes later and seven miles away, police responded to a car crash on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and San Rafael where they discovered Taylor dead. Another man, 59-year-old Harold Clark, was shot in the arm.

Friends of the woman who was driving said 58-year-old Brenda Thompson might have been trying to get the victims to the hospital when for some reason the car went out of the control and ended up on the sidewalk in front of Albina Community Bank.

Thompson was not injured, police said.

According to court documents, Taylor spent time in prison for dealing cocaine.

A man, who didn't want to be identified, said Taylor recently enrolled in community college.

"He was a young man who just started going back to school, changing his life and something tragic like this happens," he said.

The man said Taylor had helped him kick his addition to crack.

"He was a young man who walked up to me, two years ago, and said, 'Hey, guy, you're better than that.' And I said, 'What are you talking about?' ... And I've never gotten high again on that. This young man is – (the) kindness of his heart."

A neighbor told KATU News he saw two men running away after the shooting.

Police said they don't yet have a motive for the shooting, but they don't believe it was gang related.

Investigators said they're still seeking witnesses to the shooting.