Portland boxers murder still a mystery

Brian Mitchell was shot in front of his home
by: Courtesy of PPB Boxer Brian Mitchell’s death is still a mystery.

Tony Campbell still remembers the night his best friend Brian Mitchell was shot to death on Nov. 14, 1995.

Police say Brian Mitchell returned from the video store around 8:45 p.m. and parked his black Thunderbird in the 4300 block of Northeast Hazelfern. Suddenly someone shot him several times in the head and leg.

Fox 12 reporter Nicole Doll has spent weeks talking to Portland police Cold Case Division detectives about their unsolved cases and going through the files. Her stories are being run every Thursday on the 10 O'clock News in hopes the public can help solve them. This story ran on Oct. 6.

Campbell was in the house when he gunshots. He ran outside and found Mitchell lying, bleeding in the street.

"So I grabbed him, rolled him over on me,' Campbell says today. 'I was on my knees holding him. His body was still shaking. I asked him, if you can hear me, please move something. You don't expect to see someone close to you, on the ground dying, and there's really nothing you can do."

Nearly sixteen years later, Mitchell's murder is still unsolved. Police say nothing in Mitchell's past points to a motive. He had a good job, was graduating from college and had just made the National Amateur Boxing Team. Although he had previously been arrested for assault and gun possession, Cold Case detectives say he was not a gang member, drug user or involved in criminal activity at the time of his death.

Neighbors say they saw two cars leave the area around the time of the shooting, but police do not know if they were involved or not.

Retired Portland police detective George Young believes someone knows what happened, however. According to Young, perhaps someone had an issue with Mitchell or it was a case of mistaken identity. Either way, 'they know why it happened and they know basically who pulled the trigger," Young says.

Campbell just hopes Mitchell's killer will be found for the sake of his friends and family.

"Put yourself in our shoes,' Campbell says. 'If it was someone close to you, wouldn't you want to know?"

Next week, Fox 12 will look at the 1994 murder of Eddie Morgan, a developmentally challenged man shot while standing at a bus bench in Northeast Portland.