Officers with the Gresham Police Department have arrested a man in connection with a killing after seven people were injured Monday night in a related shooting.
Police said Omar Alejandro Cibrian-Gongora, 21, is being held on a second degree murder charge connected to the killing of Alejandro Barajas. Barajas, 22, was killed near the intersection of Southeast 174th Avenue and Southeast Stark Street in Gresham on Sunday, according to police.
A crowd gathered for a vigil honoring Barajas Monday night. Around 11:30 p.m., police said a dark-colored SUV drove past the event.
“At this point, gunfire was exchanged between the occupants of the dark SUV and members of the crowd,” Gresham police stated in a press release Tuesday.
Seven people were reported injured, and are expected to survive, according to police. No suspects have been arrested in the Monday shootings.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt issued a plea for violence intervention measures, and said the outcome of the shooting “could have been much different.”
“The gun violence that unfolded in Gresham on Monday shows the urgent need for more community-based programs that work to prevent gun violence and that respond to the emotional trauma left behind,” Schmidt wrote. “Locally, law enforcement is pulling resources together to investigate gun crimes and to prevent the next shooting from happening, but we need the community’s help.”
Schmidt asked for anyone with information on Monday night’s shooting to call local law enforcement, and to call 911 if they have knowledge of a shooting that “may occur in the future.”
Shootings have been on the rise since the end of 2019 in the Portland metro area, with a sharp increase in late 2020 and the first months of this year. Gresham and Portland police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office all recently dedicated officers to a federal task force specifically focused on addressing gun violence. Those officers will work with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to bring charges more swiftly in shootings, either through the DA’s office or federally, through the U.S. Attorney Office.
“Sunday night’s deadly shooting of Mr. Barajas in Gresham and the exchange of gunfire last night at a vigil honoring his life are tragic reminders that we, as a community, have much work to do to end this crippling cycle of gun violence,” Oregon’s Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Asphaug said in a statement. “I mourn with Mr. Barajas’ family and the families of all metro residents whose lives have been cut short by gun violence.”
A spokeswoman for the FBI said the task force is involved in investigating this shooting, but noted the Gresham Police Department is the lead agency.