DA: Waterfront Park victim shot once in back

An argument outside the Cinco de Mayo Festival in downtown Portland escalated into gunfire, leaving one person wounded

20-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Holdman is accused of shooting a man at the Cinco de Mayo festival in Portland, May 5 2015 (PPP)
20-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Holdman is accused of shooting a man at the Cinco de Mayo festival in Portland, May 5 2015 (PPP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The shooting in Waterfront Park near the Cinco de Mayo Festival was an isolated fight between known people, police and prosecutors said.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield wrote in an affidavit filed Wednesday that the victim of the shooting, Robert Beckles, was shot once in the back under the Morrison Bridge. Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland Police spokesperson, said the shooting happened outside the festival and does not appear to have any link to the event.

Before Beckles was transported to the hospital, he told investigators that he was in a fight with a man named, “Bruce,” Banfield wrote. Officers with the bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team responded and started investigating. Officials are still trying to determine if there was any gang link to the case. Officers with the Gun Task Force responded to help with the investigation.

Police arrested Bruce J. Holdman Jr. and a 17-year-old boy. KOIN 6 News is not identifying the 17-year-old boy until a grand jury has a chance to review the case and determine if an indictment is warranted. Witnesses told police that during the fight between Beckles, Holdman and the teen, Beckles stopped fighting and started walking away. The 17-year-old boy gave Holdman a semi-automatic handgun and pulled the trigger, Banfield wrote.

Law enforcement sources told KOIN 6 News that the victim told police that the shooting was over a female companion.

Both Holdman and the teenage boy have been charged with attempted murder with a firearm, first-degree assault with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon. Holdman appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

Court records show Holdman told court staff that he has been transient  for about one month, but otherwise lived in Tigard with his parents.

He is scheduled to appear in court May 14, records show.


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