No self-defense now: Portland teen admits guilt

Silvano Velasquez, 19, shown in a jail booking photo released by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
Silvano Velasquez, 19, shown in a jail booking photo released by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Silvano Velasquez who once faced a murder charge after the death of a 15-year-old boy, pleaded guilty Thursday in a new shots fired case.

Velasquez, 19, was arrested Nov. 9, 2014 at Northgate Park after officers with the Portland Police Bureau responded to reports of shots fired.

Thursday, he changed his plea to guilty to one count of unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm. He was sentenced by Judge Eric J. Bergstrom to 2.5 years in prison.

Fatal shooting

Velasquez was first arrested Oct. 24, 2013 in connection with the Oct. 11 homicide at the Holgate MAX Transit Center in Southeast Portland.

Abukar Madey, 15, was shot in the head and transported to a hospital in critical condition but did not survive and died two days later.

Lucio Alejandro Ramirez-Navarro, who also goes by the name of “Alex Ramirez”, was shot several times.

Velasquez was arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree assault.

Shooting ruled self-defense

In December 2013, a Multnomah County grand jury reviewed evidence in the case an issued a “not true bill” for the charges and ruled the shooting was an act of self-defense.

Velasquez plead guilty in March 2014 to one count each of unlawful possession of a firearm and tampering with physical evidence. He was ordered to spend 90 days in jail. As part of his probation, he was ordered not to have any weapons. A hearing is now scheduled for Nov. 24, 2014 to address the alleged probation violation.

Surveillance video shows Velasquez and his then girlfriend walking over to the stairs that takes people to the MAX platform.

As Velasquez and his girlfriend were smoking a cigarette, a male wearing a mask came up the stairs and passed them.

Two other males – later identified as Madey and Ramirez – approached Velasquez and his girlfriend along with the masked male.

Velasquez told police that Ramirez was trying to start a fight and was asking him if he had any gang affiliations, court records show.

Velasquez told investigators that he felt threatened by the Madey, Ramirez and the masked male “so he adjusted the gun he had concealed in his waistband,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden wrote in court documents filed in Dec. 2013. The move was to get the three males to back away from Velasquez and his girlfriend.

15-year-old boy armed with two firearms

Ramirez walked over to Madey and pulled out a large assault rifle that “looked like an AK,” Velasquez told investigators.

The rifle had been concealed in a backpack that Madey was wearing, court documents state. Velasquez’s girlfriend told investigators the backpack was actually a guitar case.

Portland Police later recovered a loaded, Hi-Point semiautomatic rifle from a guitar case that was worn by Madey, court records show.

Surveillance video shows Madey wearing the guitar case. It also shows Ramirez walking over, taking out the firearm and pointing it directly at Velasquez as Ramirez approaches, court documents state.

“Abukar Madey can been seen pulling out a sawed-off pistol-grip shotgun from his front pocket and pointing it in the direction of Silvano Velasquez (and his girlfriend) with his right hand and advancing toward them with (Ramirez),” Snowden wrote.

Velasquez told police that Ramirez “jabbed him in the chest” with the rifle. Ramirez can be seen putting the rifle back inside the guitar case while Madey puts the shotgun back into his pocket, court records show.

Velasquez told investigators that Ramirez continued to provoke a fight, court records show.

The video shows the Ramirez, Madey and the masked male surrounding Velasquez and his girlfriend, court records show.

Ramirez assumed an “aggressive posture” while facing Velasquez when the masked male suddenly came from the left and punched Velasquez twice in the face, court records show.

Velasquez told investigators that he feared for his life and believed the he and his girlfriend were going to be killed or seriously injured, so he pulled out his gun and fired in the direction of the three males until he was out of ammunition, court records show.

“The video show Abukar Madey falling to the ground,” court records show. “Velasquez can be seen kicking Abukar Madey on the ground and holding his gun to him as he searched him for a weapon.”

Velasquez then takes the sawed off shotgun from Madey’s pocket. He and his girlfriend then ran from the scene.

Velasquez told investigators he took the gun because he was out of ammunition and said he was fearful that Ramirez and the masked male might return, court documents state.

Ramirez was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the left arm, court documents state.

Ramirez had a prior felony conviction for third-degree robbery and third-degree assault. At the time of the shooting, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Grand jury convenes
On December 5, 2013, a grand jury indicted Ramirez on one count each of unlawful use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm and third-degree assault.

He was convicted after he plead no contest to unlawful use of a weapon and third-degree assault. The felon in possession of a firearm charge was dismissed.

He was given a three year prison sentence and two years of post-prison supervision.

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Jonathan T. Sarre, who represented Velasquez said he could not comment on the case any further.

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