Hazelwood ‘welfare check’ becomes homicide investigation

UPDATED | Here’s what officials are saying about this outer East Portland death, that led to an ongoing murder investigation …

At SE Division Street, 106th Avenue is closed off – as a homicide investigation gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Very little has been revealed about the murder investigation just eight days into the New Year. It was underway along a dead-end street in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

In the later evening of Friday, January 8, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were sent out on a “welfare check” – looking in on a person who might be in distress, on SE 106th Avenue.

This tiny lane runs north of Division Street – and then, after about a block, turns into a single lane of pavement, diminishing into a path. The path continues north, opening up again near Cherry Park at SE Stephens Street.

“When officers arrived, they found a man who was deceased,” was the terse statement made by Portland Police officials about it.

With no cross roads, and the narrow street being filled with police vehicles, not much is visible at this homicide investigation – other than the PPB’s Mobile Command Unit.

“There are a lot of campers on the path, near Cherry Park; we’ve had problems with them over the years,” a neighbor told East Portland News, as she watched the police pull in.

PPB Homicide Unit detectives responded to the scene and began an investigation. There have been no news releases on the progress of that investigation.

We did learn that no arrests have been made and no one has been detained.

On January 11, PPB officials revealed that the deceased has been identified as 30-year-old Deshawn Pledger, of Portland.

The Medical Examiner determined that Pledger died of homicide by gunshot wound. This is the first homicide of 2024.

On March 1, 2024, PPB detectives with the Homicide Unit announced that their investigations identified a suspect in this homicide case, 32-year-old Xavier V. Lucas, of Portland. The case was referred to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office.

On Thursday, February 22, 2024, members of the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force arrested Lucas in Hesperia, California. He was booked into the San Bernadino County West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California on an arrest warrant for Murder in the Second Degree and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Proceedings to request extradition to Multnomah County are pending.

If you have information about this incident, contact Detective Jeff McGuire at Jeff.McGuire@police.portlandoregon.gov or Detective Brent Christensen at Brent.Christensen@police.portlandoregon.gov and by phone at (503) 823-2087. Please refer to Case No. 24-6489.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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