Suspect arrested in Gresham shooting that wounded boy, mother

Police: Gresham shooting has connections to August 17, 2014 fatal shooting of Ervaeua Herring

Nakiem Brown, 23, shown in a jail booking photo after being arrested hours after being released from jail on June 23, 2017.
Nakiem Brown, 23, shown in a jail booking photo after being arrested hours after being released from jail on June 23, 2017.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A grand jury has indicted a 23-year-old man in connection with a shooting that injured an elementary student and his mother, KOIN 6 News has confirmed.

Nakiem Brown, 23, faces a 19-count secret indictment, which charges him with 8 counts of attempted aggravated murder, 5 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 2 counts of first-degree assault, 1 count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree burglary, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The shooting — which detectives believe was targeted — happened May 22 in the 1300 block of Northeast 183rd in Gresham. When officers arrived, they learned a 9-year-old boy and his 29-year-old mother were critically wounded. Both survived the shooting and continue to recover.

The 9-year-old boy, officials confirmed, was shot multiple times.

Police were at the scene of a reported shooting in Gresham, May 22 2017. (KOIN)

Gresham shooting suspect: Nakiem Brown

Records show Nakiem Brown, a known Hoover gang member, who is charged in connection with the May 22 Gresham shooting, was charged in August 2010 with multiple counts of attempted murder, robbery and unlawful use of a weapon.

He ended up taking a plea deal in December 2010 and was convicted of robbery and unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison.

While serving his sentence at the Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility, Nakiem Brown was charged with unlawfully supplying contraband after staff found him to be in possession of a cellphone. He was given an additional 8 month prison sentence.

According to records obtained by KOIN 6 News, when the May 22 shooting occurred, Nakiem Brown had been granted “short-term transitional leave” (STTL), which is a state-run Department of Corrections program that provides “inmates with an opportunity to secure appropriate transitional support when necessary for successful reintegration into the community prior to the inmate’s discharge to post-prison supervision.”

Nakiem Brown was taken into custody June 2 and lodged into the Multnomah County Inverness Jail on a corrections leave violation. Under state law, “an inmate on transitional leave status is subject to immediate return to prison for any violation of the conditions of release.”

He was released from custody at 10:05 a.m. Friday and was quickly taken into custody by detectives with the Gresham Police Department.

Brown was then re-booked into the county jail at 3:54 p.m. Friday.

Oregon Short-term transitional leave (STTL) Program

In Salem, there are currently efforts underway to pass House Bill 3078, which would expand the short-term transitional leave program to allow inmates to be released up to 120 days early. Currently, inmates can be released up to 90 days early if they qualify for the program.

HB 3078 is sponsored by Rep. Carla C. Piluso (D-Gresham) and Rep. Tawna D. Sanchez (D-Portland). Piluso served as the Gresham Police Department’s first female chief.

HB 3078 is currently in subcomittee.

Jeremiah Stromberg, the assistant director for the Oregon Department of Corrections wrote that more than 4,000 inmates have participated in the short-term transitional leave program since 2013 when the program was expanded from 30 days to 90 days of early release.

Less than 5% returned for failing the program and 1% returned to prison for committing new crimes and participants in the program have lower one and two year recidivism rates than those who did not participate in the program, according to Stromberg’s report.

Speaking by phone on Friday morning, Stromberg said because there is an ongoing criminal investigation involving Nakiem Brown, he can’t comment specifically on the case. He did, however, say that DOC is “continuing to work on this investigation with the Gresham Police Department and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.”

“Transitional leave allows offenders to get out of prison early to find housing and work; yet they are still considered to be in DOC custody,” Tim Colahan, executive director, Oregon District Attorneys Association said in prepared testimony in May.

The ODAA is opposed to the expansion of the trans-leave program.

According to DOC records, the number of offenders participating in the STTL program has been approximately 100 inmates per month, and the associated prison bed savings on January 1, 2017 was 262 prison beds.

“DOC has tracked successful completions of STTL, as well as program failures. The program failure rate has been relatively low, at approximately 6%. These performance indicators show that the program has been working as estimated,” the agency wrote in a 2017 report.

Marica G.Ventura, Legal Coordinator, for the Oregon Department of Corrections, said in a letter dated Friday that the release of Nakiem Brown’s records pertaining to his transitional leave and the program’s supervision policies were exempt from public disclosure because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

Late Friday, Rep. Piluso issued the following statement to KOIN 6 News:

As the former police chief for the City of Gresham and someone who has lived in that community for nearly four decades, the shooting is absolutely tragic. My heart goes out to the victims, their family, and community members shaken by this terrible crime. We need to be responsive to the victims by providing support and services they need to go down the path of rebuilding their lives.

“I have full confidence that there will be a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this case. After 30 years in law enforcement, I know we can hold perpetrators accountable and actually address the root causes of crime to reduce the likelihood of events like these in the future.”

Ties to the Ervaeua Herring 2014 homicide

KOIN 6 News learned Nakiem Brown is related to at least 2 of the suspects who have been charged with the death of Ervaeua Herring, who was pregnant when she was murdered.

Ervaeua Herring was shot and killed August 17, 2014 by a “barrage of bullets fired from at least 6 different guns at and through the sliding back door of her apartment,” according to prosecutors.

The investigation into Herring’s death resulted in murder indictments for Demetruis Brown, Kelani Brown, Deanthony Simmons, Jeffrey Sims and Geontae Jones. The 5 murder suspects are all known Hoover Criminal gang members, according to police and prosecutors.

Police believe Ervaeua Herring was not the intended target in the Aug. 17, 2014 shooting. Officials believe Demetruis Brown and the other suspects were looking for her boyfriend, Deandre Stephens, who is a documented Woodlawn Park Blood gang member.

Hours before Ervaeua Herring was shot and killed, a fight broke out in downtown Portland at Southwest 3rd and Ash. The fight involved Woodlawn Park Blood gang and Hoover Criminal gang members. During the fight, Jerone Cuie, a known Hoover, was shot and Demetruis Brown was pistol whipped.

George Waters and Isaac Harden, both known Woodlawn Park Blood gang members, have been convicted of charges relating to the shooting and fight in downtown.

Police believe the shooting death of Ervaeua Herring was directly linked to the downtown Portland fight.

Gresham Police say their investigation into the shooting is ongoing and anyone who has information on the case should contact 503-618-2719.