Portland State University student surrenders in fatal shooting of fellow student

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
April 5, 2022 7:45 p.m. Updated: April 6, 2022 7:46 p.m.

20-year-old Keenan Harpole turned himself in to Bend authorities after the shooting death of 19-year-old Amara Marluke

A Portland State University student is accused of shooting and killing another student on the edge of the downtown Portland campus early Monday morning.

The suspect, 20-year-old Keenan Harpole, turned himself in to authorities in Bend later in the day. The university said Harpole is a student and a former PSU football player, who had previously played for Bend’s Mountain View High School


Portland police say that Harpole turned himself in to Deschutes County authorities, then was taken back to Portland.

He was booked Monday night into the Multnomah County jail; he is facing charges of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. According to court records, both of those charges are related to domestic violence.

Harpole pleaded not guilty at a Tuesday afternoon arraignment. He will return to court for another hearing next week.

Portland police confirmed the shooting victim was 19-year-old Amara Marluke, another PSU student.

Amara Marluke, 19, was killed in a downtown Portland shooting.

Amara Marluke, 19, was killed in a downtown Portland shooting.

Courtesy of Portland Police Bureau

“Amara was an artist and an activist and a vibrant member of our community. Her death is mourned by all of us,” PSU President Stephen Percy said in a message to the campus community. “I am profoundly affected by the sheer tragedy of this loss. My heart breaks for Amara’s family and for everyone who knew her. I offer my deepest sympathies. We will work together as a campus community to heal.”

Marluke was from Washington County and had attended Sunset High School in Beaverton. She was in the Sonic Arts and Music Production program, according to Christina Williams, PSU’s director of strategic communications.

“This is just a very, very sad day in Portland State’s history. There’s no words to describe the deep sense of loss that we feel — the loss of Amara Marluke,” Williams told OPB. “She was a remarkable young woman. She was a first-year. She had a great deal of talent, and she was really building her community here at Portland State in our College of the Arts.”

Williams said PSU will work with Marluke’s family, friends and the community to memorialize her.

“It’s obvious from what we know that she was a tremendous light,” Williams said.

According to a statement from Bonnie Miksch, director of PSU’s School of Music & Theater, Marluke was a singer and music producer. She was awarded the school’s first Goldomusic sonic arts and music production scholarship this fall.

“She was just starting out in her academic career at PSU, but her enormous artistic potential and musicality were evident to everyone she interacted with,” Miksch wrote Tuesday. “Amara brought her passionate commitment to social justice to her art practice, using her music as a vehicle for her activism and the movement for Black Lives.”

PSU President Percy relayed health and counseling resources to students and employees.

“I urge all of us to take care of ourselves and each other during this sad and challenging time for Portland State,” he said in his statement.