by: David F. Ashton As they inspected the bullet holes in the victim’s minivan, witnesses said that it was surprising the victim wasn’t killed in this parking lot attack.

Thirteen days after one teenager was accused of stabbing another only 20 blocks east, also on S.E. Flavel Street - a 17-year-old man was shot and injured at Flavel Market on S.E. 52nd Avenue on December 8.

According to witnesses, the sound of gunfire was unmistakable when it erupted a little before 11 am. A window in the victim's minivan was shot out, and bullet holes were clearly visible in the driver's-side front door.

'We ran toward the sound when we heard the shots,' neighbor Kristina Sampson told THE BEE. 'He was lying there on the ground; I grabbed a towel and ran over to him. He was holding his leg. I used the towel to put pressure on it, so it wouldn't bleed so much.'

While waiting for first responders to arrive and care for the wounded man, later identified as 17-year-old nearby resident Eric Hernandez, asked Sampson for his cell phone, and called his parents.

'He kept saying, 'Make the pain stop, make it stop!' I kept telling him that help was on the way,' said Sampson. 'I've never been around anything like this. It's really upsetting; I wish this kind of violence around here would stop.'

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Lt. Robert King confirmed that Hernandez had been shot in the leg and was suffered non-life threatening injuries. He was transported to an area hospital.

'Officers determined in their investigation that a maroon or burgundy vehicle drove into the store's parking lot, and had words with the victim,' King reported. 'As they were having words, the driver of the car fired seven shots at the victim hitting him once in the leg.

Inside the market, business owner Soon Cho said that Hernandez and his family often would buy food and merchandise on credit. 'They come in all the time, we trust them. That's why we give credit for them over and over.'

In fact, Cho said that Hernandez had stopped by the store to pay on their account. 'They say something about gangs - but I don't think so; not Eric.'

However, King countered, 'Based on the nature and style of the shooting and descriptions and other information available to the officers, they concluded the shooter is likely in a gang, and so the Gang Team responded to conduct the investigation. The Forensic Evidence Division also responded, and processed the crime scene.'

Because they live nearby, it took only minutes for victim's father, Juan Hernandez, to arrive at the store. He denied press reports that his son had recognized the man who pulled the trigger.

When detectives completed their investigation at the location, they revealed that the suspect vehicle had dark tinted windows, was possibly a Buick, and contained four Hispanic males.

'The car drove southbound on S.E. 52nd Avenue,' King said. 'Officers looked for the suspect vehicle, but they have not located it or the suspects at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Brian Sims at 503/823-2079, or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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