‘Random’ Old Town stabbing caught on video

New court documents shed light

Two people were injured in separate stabbings in Old Town Monday night, May 8 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – New court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News are shedding light on a random attack in Old Town earlier this week that law enforcement officials have described as “chilling.”

Jacob Shroyer in a photo seen on his YouCaring page, May 11, 2017
Jacob Shroyer in a photo seen on his YouCaring page, May 11, 2017

Jacob Pedro Shroyer remains in critical condition after being attacked on May 8. The following accounts come from court documents.

Detectives have relied heavily on surveillance cameras to piece together the case against Michael Williams. Video from the Pacific Tower Apartments, where Shroyer lives and where the attack happened, shows him running to the front door. Detectives believe Shroyer was being chased by Williams and that Shroyer was attempting to get away.

The entry to Shroyer’s apartment building has two sets of glass doors. The first leads people into a small open space where they can use a keypad system to access the secured lobby. Video shows Shroyer entering the first set of doors. He can be seen trying to close the door that leads to the street but Williams was able to reach in and open it.

The small foyer is where the attack happened.

Shroyer was trapped.

Williams can be seen on the video holding possible weapons in both hands. The attack lasts roughly two minutes.

After it ends, Williams exits onto the street. He then tries to get back into the foyer but the outside door is locked. He can be seen on video trying to open it and kick at it. Williams only leaves the apartment after Shroyer opens the inner door and gets into the lobby.

Once he’s in the lobby, he’s able to call 911.

As Shroyer is on the phone with emergency dispatchers, video shows him collapsing on the floor.

When police first found Shroyer he was suffering from multiple stab wounds to his chest, but he was conscious, breathing and talking. Paramedics rushed Shroyer to OHSU where his condition worsened.

Shroyer remains in critical condition and his injuries are described as life-threatening.

Michael Lee Williams in court on May 12, 2017. He is charged with the attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. (KOIN)
Michael Lee Williams in court on May 12, 2017. He is charged with the attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. (KOIN)

Police believe the attack on Shroyer was random. There is still no evidence to show that the men knew each other.

The timeline leading up to the attack is now coming into clearer focus since detectives have been able to find surveillance video that captures the moments leading up to the stabbing and immediately afterward.

The earliest video of Williams’ presence in the area appears to be from 10:09 p.m. when cameras capture him walking near Northwest 3rd and Northwest Davis.

Detectives have been able to confirm that Shroyer made a purchase at the Safeway grocery store in the Pearl District at 10:11 p.m.

Williams is picked up again on video at 10:12 p.m. about one block south and one block east of the parking lot where Shroyer usually parked his vehicle at Northwest 4th Ave and Northwest Glisan Street.

Shroyer pulled into the parking lot at 10:17 p.m. He parked and then left his vehicle and began walking south on NW 4th Avenue towards his building. Video shows Shroyer carrying a bag from Safeway.

As Shroyer parks his car, video shows a man mulling around the northwest corner of the parking lot. The man, later identified as Williams, starts walking towards Shroyer. As he does so, it appears Williams briefly confronts another person in passing who appears concerned with his behavior. That person, whose identity has not been released, flees the area and Williams directs his attention to Shroyer.

Williams begins to chase Shroyer.

The video from Shroyer’s apartment shows the attack happened between 10:21 p.m. and 10:23 p.m.

At 10:24 p.m. Williams is captured running eastbound on Northwest Flanders Street and crossing Northwest 3rd Avenue.

Detectives were able to get a fairly good physical description of Williams from the video recordings, which show him wearing a blue, dark-colored jacket, with black-colored shoulders, dark pants, white shoes, and a dark-colored baseball cap with a white emblem on it. Detectives with the police bureau internally released flyers of the suspect in Shroyer’s attack.

On May 9, the day after the attack, officers responded at 11: 45 a.m. to the intersection of Southwest 5th  Avenue and Pine Street on reports of an assault and robbery.

Police talked with witnesses, including a bystander and a TriMet bus driver. They said an older black man got on the bus and another man, later identified as Williams, jumped on and tried to steal the older man’s wallet. The wallet fell on the ground and when the victim went to retrieve it, Williams picked it up first.  He then punched the victim 3 to 4 times.

Williams ran away but was quickly detained by police who swarmed the area.

An hour before that incident was broadcasted over police radios, a detective was in Old Town looking for more surveillance cameras. At Northwest 5th  Avnue and Northwest Everett Street, he noticed a black man who was wearing a dark blue short-sleeved shirt, dark blue jeans, white tennis shoes, and a baseball hat.

The assault and robbery on board the TriMet bus happened about 6 blocks south.

After Williams was detained in connection to the TriMet incident, officers assigned to the Transit Police Division took him to their hold facility at TriMet offices in Old Town.

The detective who was looking for more surveillance cameras eventually returned to the TriMet offices. As he did, he saw Williams and his arresting officer. The detective recognized Williams as being the same person he spotted earlier.

Williams was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 2:38 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9. He was charged with third-degree robbery, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree theft, fourth-degree assault, interfering with public transportation and second-degree disorderly conduct.

On Wednesday May 10, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and issued a “no complaint” on the initial charges Williams was first arrested for on Tuesday. Detectives needed more time for their investigation. Instead of being released from jail, Williams was held on a parole violation detainer.

On Thursday May 11, detectives charged Williams with the attempted murder, first-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Those charges were for the attack on Shroyer. On Friday, May 12, the DA’s office added additional charges of third-degree robbery, fourth-degree assault and interfering with public transportation. Those charges stem from the assault and robbery on board the TriMet bus.

On Friday, May 12, many of Portland’s LGBTQ restaurants and clubs collected money for Shroyer’s recovery. At Stag PDX, drag entertainer and host, Nay-Nay Leakes Carter hosted a performance in honor of Shroyer and described him “as a huge light in our community.”

On Saturday, May 13, Brynn Sladky, a tattoo artist at Blacklist Tattoo, will be accepting clients beginning at noon for small, simple tattoos. She’ll donate 100% of the earnings to his online medical fund.

Anyone with information on Williams and his activities this week is asked to call Detective Anthony Merrill at 503-823-4033, anthony.merrill@portlandoregon.gov; or, Detective Vince Cui at 503-823-0449, vince.cui@portlandoregon.gov.