Homeless man killed struggled with mental illness

Portland business owner reportedly shot and killed Jason Peterson on Monday

Jason Peterson, 32, was shot and killed after an altercation with a Portland business owner, February 20, 2017. (Facebook)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A homeless man shot and killed after an altercation with a Portland business owner Monday lived a normal life until his struggle with mental illness became too much, his brother told KOIN 6 News.

Jason Peterson, 32, was reportedly shot when he confronted the owner of Golden Key Insurance Agency about property he had left in front of the business.

His brother, Justin, remembered him Tuesday as a good big brother.

Jason Peterson, 32, was shot and killed after an altercation with a Portland business owner, February 20, 2017. (Facebook)
Jason Peterson, 32, was shot and killed after an altercation with a Portland business owner, February 20, 2017. (Facebook)

“He was a really smart person. Loving, passionate, artistic,” Justin said. “He taught me everything. He was there for me when I needed him.”

By all accounts, Justin said his brother lived a normal life. Jason went to high school in Canby, got his GED and graduated from the Job Corps with honors. Throughout his young life, Jason had a strong support system of family and friends around him.

But as he got older, the gravity of Jason’s mental illness became apparent. Justin said his family did everything they could to get him the help he desperately needed.

“I tried to be there for him,” Justin said. “We tried to get a 3 party petition. My mom, my sister, we all signed documents releasing him to do a mental evaluation. They just said that he wasn’t deemed a threat to himself or society, so they released him.”

Today, those who knew Jason are mourning the brother, son and friend gone to soon.

“They all knew he was struggling and had problems, but they didn’t think it would come to this,” Justin said. “A lot of people are heartbroken and going to miss him.”

Charlie Chan, the business owner who reportedly shot Jason, hasn’t been charged.

One man was shot in this business on SE 82nd in Portland, February 20, 2017 (KOIN)
One man was shot outside this business on SE 82nd in Portland, February 20, 2017 (KOIN)