In the middle of one of the biggest snowstorms to hit Woodburn in years, police are investigating a murder on Brown Street.

Police responded to a 10:13 p.m. call Thursday to the intersection of Brown and Bradley by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Police investigate the crime scene on the corner of Brown and Bradley streets the morning after a fatal Thursday night stabbing.streets, where 18-year-old Ricardo Hernandez had been stabbed.

The victim later succumbed to his injuries at a nearby hospital.

“My boyfriend came to my house and told me that my friend Richie had been killed, but I couldn’t understand it because I was talking to him an hour before it happened,” said Kenya Miranda, a senior at Success High School, where Hernandez graduated last year.

Police on the scene indicated the murder was gang-related and that they had several leads.

However, those close to Hernandez said they were shocked to hear it could be gang-related, including Joe James, who was principal of Success High School last year, when Hernandez graduated from the school.

“What I know about him is he stayed away from trouble,” said James, who now works in the district office. “If it was gang-related, I’m just surprised he was a part of that. We didn’t see that in him.”by: WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - This photo from spring 2013 shows Ricardo Hernandez with his family at graduation from Success High School in Woodburn.

Miranda also said Hernandez, who was also known as “Big Rick,” didn’t seem the type to get involved with gangs.

“Not a lot of people would hate him,” she said. “He was very nice and was always making people laugh, even if they were sad. He’d try to make you comfortable.”

James said Hernandez had decided to take some time off of school and work to help support his family. He worked at the Texaco gas station, along with Miranda.

“School was never easy for him, but he never gave up,” James said. “At school he had good attendance, good grades, was very respectful to peers, respectful to teachers and staff. He was even nicknamed the gentle teddy bear.”

James added that Hernandez played an active role as a student representative on the school district’s strategic planning committee last year.

Counselors are being made available for students at Success High School, James said.

A funeral service is scheduled Thursday at 6 p.m. at St. Luke Catholic Church.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Det. Tim Cobos at 503-982-2345.

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