Opera singer found shot in car well-respected by colleagues

Opera singer found shot in car well-respected by colleagues »Play Video
Brian Tierney.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Brian Tierney is still in critical condition after he was found shot inside his car on the side of Interstate 205 earlier this week. Police are still looking for the shooter.

Tierney is a professional musician, and he’s performed with multiple companies around Portland, and his friends and colleagues said Friday he's well-respected.

It is rare to be recruited for the Portland Opera, only one or two people are invited to join the chorus each year, and when Tierney got that coveted spot in 2010, Clare Burovac took notice.

"It's a beautiful tenor voice, and he's very engaging on stage," she said. "On top of that he's just a really nice guy and a wonderful colleague."

While Burovac has helped direct Tierney in the past, she doesn't have a script now to help her understand what happened in the moments before Tierney was shot.

He was on his way home from his typical Wednesday night church choir practice when a good Samaritan found him shot in his blue Chevy Cobalt in the southbound lanes of Interstate 205 near Division.

"It's a real tragedy and my hope is that he recovers quickly and comes back to us to sing with us again this fall," Burovac said.

Tierney is also supposed to start rehearsing in a month to be the lead in a summer production on the University of Portland's campus.

"My first memory is basically of him from our technical rehearsals when he stepped out on stage and he opened his mouth and started singing; and it was just a beautiful, amazing tenor voice," said Larry Larsen, the producer of the university's production.

Now, everyone is hoping his story ends well and that this performer, husband and father recovers quickly and will get back to the job and people he loves.

Police believe Tierney was already pulled over to the side of I-205 when he was shot. They don't think it was a sniper but they're not sure what it was – road rage or something else.

Police are asking for the public's help. If anyone saw Tierney's blue car or anything suspicious, they are asked to contact Detective Paul Dolbey at 503-823-0451 or Paul.Dolbey@PortlandOregon.gov.

Police said this is the type of car Tierney was found in. (Image courtesy of Portland Police)