Cartridges cases on the floor – show us who we’re looking for.
This KGW8 news article, reports the arrest of a suspect, Marshawn Edwards for shooting into a crowded bar in Northwest Portland last fall and for killing a man inside and injuring two others.
The story picks up on what justice means to the victims, their families, and their neighbors through the words of the bar owner where the murder of 34-year-old Jacob Knight-Vasquez took place. Sam Macbale is quoted as saying: "Thank God!” "Justice, has finally come. Thank you. Thank God."
The story goes on to report that: “According to court documents, DNA on cartridge casings found at the crime scene matched a sample in a rape kit from 2014, where a juvenile victim reported Edwards and another man forced her into having sex, which Edwards and the second man said was consensual. Charges were never filed.”
The news piece goes on to tie the fired evidence to another shooting scene in which the suspect was wearing the same clothing at both shootings and later while under surveillance as a suspect. “Casings from a February shooting outside Whelan's Irish Pub in Southeast Portland matched the 9mm casings found at the Silver Dollar shooting scene in a ballistics database, a police affidavit states. The shooter seen in surveillance video at both shootings wore the same Colorado Rockies baseball hat and black puffy North Face jacket, police said in the affidavit. Detectives stated they saw Edwards wearing the same hat and jacket while conducting surveillance.”
Today, a case may be solved using a single forensic technique like ballistics comparison. Tomorrow it may be latent fingerprints alone. The day after that it may be DNA. The most likely scenario though - is that it will take a combination of forensics and other tools - like video imaging, license plate readers, and more to solve a case. In this Portland case, it took DNA and ballistics data from the fired cartridge cases, a rape kit, and the suspect’s descriptive clothing picked up on security camera video.
There is one common dominator, however, that we must always rely upon and lend our support to – the many men and women who work on these cases - seeking justice for the victims, resolution for their loved ones, and peace for their neighbors.
To all involved in these cases – thanks for the work that you do!