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Neighbors recall a kind, helpful young man

Police looking for suspects in a Sunday, March 10, homicide


It's hard enough to live just doors down from the scene of a homicide.

But when you've watched the victim grow up, when he becomes a member of your extended family, it hits home in a much harder way.

Shane Michael Brumbaugh, 23, of Gresham died during dinner time Sunday, March 10, gunned down in the driveway behind his Tee Off Estates condominium in the 1400 block of Northeast Paropa Court.Shane Michael Brumbaugh

Neighbors heard at least three gunshots and called police at about 6:45 p.m. But the three suspects involved — the shooter, the lookout and the getaway driver — had fled the scene before police arrived.

Those who lived near the young man are eager to talk about him.

He was kind, polite and a hard worker, they say.

But with the gunman and accomplices still at large, some neighbors are reluctant to provide their own last names.

“It was such a senseless act, completely and totally,” said Stephanie, a neighbor whose daughter grew up in the same condominiums with Brumbaugh. “There's no rhyme or reason to it.”

On Sunday evening, Brumbaugh's live-in girlfriend was at Stephanie's returning some movies when gunshots rang out. Stephanie's boyfriend, Ray, saw a young man tuck a gun into his waistband as he ran north toward Northeast 16th Street. He gave chase and watched as the gunman and a lookout jumped in a waiting getaway car parked in front of the condominiums' mailboxes. The car then fled the scene.

Ray and the victim's girlfriend ran to her condo. Brumbaugh was shot in the chest and neck, but he managed to get inside, where he collapsed at the top of the stairs.

His frantic girlfriend and Ray tried to perform CPR in him, but he died at the scene.

Neighbor Jeannie Warner, whose grandson grew up with Brumbaugh, can't shake the image of Brumbaugh's mother rushing to her son's home.

“How is he, how is he?” the mother kept asking. When the mother learned that her son had died, she broke down sobbing.

“It was really sad,” Warner said.

She and her husband had just finished dinner when they heard the gunshots.

“It's scary,” Warner said. “You don't expect anything like that in your neighborhood. You just never know what's going to happen.”

Debbie Rigdon also heard the shots and watched in horror as her 6-year-old son rushed to the window to look outside. She had to order him away.

“That kind of thing doesn't happen here,” she said of the usually quiet area.

She recalled seeing Brumbaugh mowing the grass and trimming bushes throughout the complex.

“Nice guy,” Rigdon said. “And young. It's too bad.”

“He was a nice kid,” Warner said. “For someone to do that, it was really bad.”

Brumbaugh grew up with Warner's grandson and attended Hall Elementary and Gordon Russell Middle School before moving on to an alternative high school.

“He was always smiling,” Warner said. “Like all kids, they get into trouble sometimes but nothing to get shot like that. He really didn't deserve that.”

Stephanie, whose boyfriend tried to save Brumbaugh's life, agreed.

“He was a wonderful guy, very helpful,” she said.

Recently, when Stephanie's car broke down while she was at work, she called Brumbaugh for help. He drove over, fixed her car and then followed her home to make sure she got home safely.

Brumbaugh was known as a handyman. He got by doing odd jobs and did some work for a neighbor who is a plumber. He volunteered his labor to help Ray and Stephanie remodel their kitchen.

He also was fixing up an old van he bought hoping to start his own pressure-washing business.

“Everybody knew Shane,” Stephanie said. “He was so likable and outgoing. He was sweet and thoughtful.”

Ray, who'd stayed quiet while Stephanie talked about the young man, could no longer contain his emotions.

“He was a kid,” Ray said, his voice tinged with disgust and anger.




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