UPDATED: Suspected killer behind bars! Relatively few folks who live in the area are even aware of the relatively new bar on SE Division Street – even fewer seem to be aware that Asian gangsters are afoot in outer East Portland. Read this, and see what we found out about messy incident …
Homicide and gang detectives work all night at the scene where they say a man was murdered, and three others were wounded, on SE Division Street.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
See the end of this story for updated information!
Ask residents and businesspeople to pinpoint the location of the Good Call Sports Bar & Grill, located at 11010 SE Division Street, and they’d be hard-pressed to describe where this establishment is located.
But, the location of this relatively new bar & grill became known to many (it’s on the ground floor of a brick office building, just east of the Bike Gallery store) when gunfire erupted nearby, a little after midnight on October 23.
Portland Police Bureau (PPB) spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson filled us in on the details. “At 12:58 a.m., officers responded on the report of four people being shot. Detectives from the Gang Enforcement Team and the Homicide Detail investigated this shooting.”
A Portland Police Bureau Forensics Division criminalist picks up evidence markers, as the on-scene investigation of a gangster’s shooting spree winds down.
SE Division Street was completely shut down for about nine hours – well into Saturday morning’s daylight hours – as PPB homicide detectives and criminalists combed the area, documenting evidence of the shooting spree.
“28-year-old Steven Ouk of Southeast Portland died of a gunshot wound,” Simpson reported. “30-year-old Sophan ‘Vinnie’ Mey of Southeast Portland, 21-year-old Andrew Ratana Jackson of Southwest Portland, and 43-year-old Khomphakhanh Vongdara of Northeast Portland all suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds and were transported to area hospitals.”
An East Precinct Sergeant checks on the investigation’s progress at the establishment that promotes serving Cambodian and Thai Cuisine.
Shooting said to be gang related
Gang Enforcement Team detectives at the scene put out the word that, according to what they learned in the early part of the investigation, the shooting may have been gang-related – but it does not appear to be connected with other recent gang shootings.
“Detectives learned that an argument started inside the bar, and that the suspect began firing at Steven Ouk,” said Simpson. “The suspect continued to fire as he left the bar, and he also hit the other three victims, then fled the scene in an unknown direction.”
Asian gangs said to keep a low profile
We asked Simpson to fill us in on Asian gangs. “They’ve been active in the Portland area for about 20 years,” he said. “Activity attributed to Asian gangs is very low, compared to Black or Hispanic gangs.”
Cultural issues arise among Asian gangsters, Simpson added. “Taking into account historical cultural differences, and adding in gang membership – it makes for a volatile mix.”
SE Division Street is closed – well into the daylight hours – while detectives and investigators search for evidence.
PPB East Precinct Commander William Walker agreed with Simpson’s assessment, adding, “Unlike those involved with Hispanic or Black sets of gangs, Asian gang members don’t typically dress in noticeable gang attire. They try not to draw attention to themselves.”
It was clear to us why Asians might be found at the Good Call Sports Bar & Grill when we visited the scene, and saw a sign out front that touted “Cambodian and Thai Cuisine”.
“We do keep our eye on establishments where gang activity, and related calls for police service, tends to occur,” Walker said. “But it’s been very quiet in the area; we’ve had no calls for service at this establishment, for any reason of which I’m aware.”
Police say tips from community members helped collar the man they say killed a man in an argument, at this outer SE Portland establishment.
At 5:40 a.m. on Friday morning, October 29, Portland Police Detectives in cooperation with the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force arrested 31-year-old Vorladeth “Kevin” Souvannachoumkham of SE Portland for Murder in connection with this case.
Although details are few, it seems that Souvannachoumkham, got into a heated argument with Ouk and began shooting at him and the others. Officials still say that, although the investigation is ongoing, Souvannachoumkham is the only suspect in this case.
Police accuse this man, 31-year-old Vorladeth “Kevin” Souvannachoumkham, with the murder of one man, and the attempted murder of three others. MCDC Photo
According to MCDC records, Souvannachoumkham is being held without bail on three counts of Assault I, one count of Attempted Murder, and one charge of Murder – all of which are Class A Felonies.
At a press conference on Friday, Portland Police Bureau Chief Michael Reese thanked members of community for coming forward to give them information, even though some were said to have been threatened to keep their silence. Although it’s been suggested that Souvannachoumkham has gang ties, no further information is available at this time.
© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News