Hazelwood man’s ‘unloaded’ shotgun kills roommate

It wasn’t gang activity that shut down East Burnside Street, just a block away from Ventura Park School. Could this tragic death been avoided? See what happened here …

Police say the residents of this small Hazelwood bungalow never gave them any problems — until a single shotgun blast ended the life of one of its residents.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The house at 11750 E. Burnside was the perfect bachelor dwelling for the two 18-year-olds who lived there. Now, it sits empty – one young man is dead; the other is in jail charged with his death.

Officials say turned deadly for the pair of teenagers, said to be long-time friends, a little after 2:30 p.m. on April 28. Neighbors heard a gunshot ring out and saw one of the roommates, Andrew Gabriel Perez, run out the door, shouting that someone had been shot.

“Portland Police Officers responded a call about a shooting that had just occurred,” stated Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Detective Wheat. “When officers arrived, they found 18-year-old Chance Domingo Caron deceased inside the residence.”

Portland Police Bureau homicide detectives confer outside of the home where one roommate apparently accidentally shot the other.

Detectives executed a search warrant for the residence, Wheat continued, and found the gun they believed was used in this incident. “The cause of death appears to be one gunshot wound.”

While neighbors reported there been troubles at the house next door to where the shooting occurred, Wheat said, there had been no problems at that residence itself. “It wasn’t gang-related; investigators believe that Perez accidentally shot Caron,” explained Wheat at the scene.

Police charge this man, Andrew Gabriel Perez, with accidentally shooting his friend and roommate – thinking his shotgun was unloaded.

Northbound E. Burnside Street was blocked off at SE 117th Avenue, while homicide detectives conducted their investigation.

According to police and court records, Perez was handling his shotgun, inserting and ejecting shells. Apparently, not all of the shells were ejected when Perez triggered the weapon; the blast struck Caron in the head, killing him.

“Andrew Perez was charged with one count of Criminal Negligent Homicide and was lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center,” Wheat added. Perez was arraigned on Manslaughter in the Second Degree, we learned, and will be back in court on May 7.

Behind the scenes: Ever wonder how the TV stations are able to “go live to the scene”? They use mobile production trucks; their tall masts beam the TV picture to the station.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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