Lents neighbors tried to help dying man after fight

Police continue to canvass the neighborhood

Brian Bruns, 53, was killed Tuesday night in the Lents neighborhood, May 16, 2017. (PPB)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Neighbors tried to help a dying man after a fight at a Lents apartment Tuesday night, but he died before paramedics arrived.

Brian Bruns, 53, was killed Tuesday night in the Lents neighborhood, May 16, 2017. (PPB)

Reports of a disturbance at an apartment on the 4400 block of SE 99th Avenue came in around 8:30 p.m. As police were heading to the scene, they learned one man was seriously injured.

Neighbors tried to help the victim, later identified as 53-year-old Brian Bruns, who was laying on the 2nd floor landing. But he was losing too much blood. They pointed paramedics to where he was, but it was too late. Bruns died at the scene.

Those who tried to help him said it appeared he was stabbed with some kind of object.

A neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said he heard a woman screaming.

“I came outside and I could hear all the sirens coming,” he said.

Michelle Burge, who lives near the apartments, told KOIN 6 News she did the best she could to comfort the man in his final moments.

A person was found dead following reports of a fight on SE 99th Avenue, May 16, 2017. (KOIN)

“My neighbor came in knocking on the door and got us, screaming, she was freaking out,” she said. “I went over there and went up the stairs and he was laying in a puddle of blood. And I just felt down to see if I could feel his heart and it was in AFib and he was just dying. So I just prayed for him. I just, I just told him it was OK and I just said, ‘Please God,’ prayed to God.”

Neighbors believe Bruns was a friend of a man who lives in the apartment.

“What we know right now is that the person is an adult male, maybe 20s to 30s,” Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson said. “Really unclear what led up to this person being dead. At this point homicide detectives are taking the lead on the investigation.”

The medical examiner determined Bruns died of homicidal violence in the form of stab wounds.

No one is in custody at this time but police said detectives are working on a few leads.

Bruns’ sister spoke briefly to KOIN, saying he was a man of God and did whatever he could to help others. She said she doesn’t know much about what happened, but his death came as a shock.

Police continue to canvass the area looking for witnesses and neighbors who may have seen or heard anything.

Asked if there was any danger to the public, Simpson said it’s “difficult to say what the danger is anytime you have somebody on the run that may be involved in a homicide. Certainly there’s some inherent danger there.

“We see with a lot of cases there’s something personal about these kind of incidents, so until we know more it’s difficult to say.”

Anyone with information on the case should call 503.823.3333.