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Portland police ID downtown shooting victim; ex-Bend resident in court on murder charge

Amara Marluke Portland homicide victim PPB 45
Family photo/Portland Police Bureau
Portland homicide victim Amara Marluke

(Update: Victim identified; Harpole appears in court, held without bail)

Mtn. View graduate, 20, was attending Portland State; woman killed on PSU campus

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Portland police on Tuesday identified the 19-year-old Portland State University student shot and killed near the PSU campus early Monday morning, allegedly by a 20-year-old fellow PSU student from Bend who was arrested hours later south of Sunriver and appeared in court Tuesday.

The Portland Police Bureau said the family of homicide victim Amara Marluke had been identified and that the family was “requesting privacy at this time.”

Officers said the county medical examiner determined during an autopsy that Marluke died from gunshot wounds and ruled her death a homicide.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office received information Monday morning about the location of murder suspect Keenan Harpole, 20, Sgt. Doug Sullivan said. They were told he was at a family property in the 5500 block of Homestead Way, between Sunriver and La Pine.

“Detectives contacted Harpole and he agreed to turn himself in,” Sullivan said, and he “was taken into custody without incident.” Harpole was brought back to Portland, where he was released to Portland Police Bureau homicide detectives, the bureau said.

Harpole was lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. He was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on the DA's initial information filing, which states the charges alleged domestic violence and referred to Harpole and Marluke as "family or household members."

He is being held without bail at the Multnomah County Jail and is scheduled to return to court Wednesday, April 13 for arraignment on an expected formal grand jury indictment.

An initial court filing indicated the murder charge involved domestic violence. It said Harpole told police he has been in the Portland area for seven months, staying with roommates at University Point the past few days, previously in Beaverton with a family member for five months. The filing said Harpole told police he has been working for Uber Eats up to 24 hours a week and attending PSU classes 4-8 hours a week.

At Harpole's arraignment on Tuesday, Marluke's family contributed a statement that was read in court, KGW reported.

"To say that Amara was the light of our life would not begin to do her justice. She was an activist who worked to support those who couldn't speak for themselves," her family said. "She had a rough start to her own life, lived through the years of the foster system, and somehow still had endless capacity to love and to help others. She touched our lives and those of so many others. Her dedication to her family and friends was unwavering. That she would fall victim to a senseless and violent death is unimaginable."

Marluke's aunt, Melanie Hendrickson, urged the court not to let Harpole out on conditional release — asking that her family be granted the safety and security "to know this man is behind bars."

PSU President Stephen Percy issued a statement on the “tragic shooting” Tuesday morning, noting that Marluke “was an artist and an activist and a vibrant member of our community. Her death is mourned by all of us.”

“I am profoundly affected by the sheer tragedy of this loss,” Percy continued. “My heart breaks for Amara’s family and for everyone who knew her. I offer my deepest sympathies. We will work together as a campus community to heal.”

Portland police said their Central Precinct officers were dispatched at 1 a.m. to a reported shooting near Southwest College Street and Sixth Avenue, arriving to find a woman who had died.

Sullivan said Harpole was a 2020 graduate of Mountain View High School. A PSU sports web page indicated he was on the 2021 Vikings football team roster as a running back and lettered in football with the Cougars.

Author Profile Photo

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

58 Comments

  1. That piece of excrement was literally arrested a mile from my house!
    And people want to know why we want guns. To protect our loved ones from the madness that permeates society! G@d I’m p1ssed!

    1. People like you still think it’s the 1700’s and you need to “defend” your trailer from the government, which if they wanted, could take all your guns away in 24 hours. Relax old man, the shooting happened nowhere near your place.

      1. Hey JJHayes99, kindly tell us whom you think needs guns or should have guns because obviously, you do not think the everyday person needs them.

        1. If the US government wanted to destroy you, they don’t need to take your guns away. They could launch a submarine launched cruise missile from the pacific ocean. The only reason people want to be armed is because they fear their neighbors who might have different ideology.

          1. Yes, clearly 100 million or so folks in this country bought weapons because they fear their neighbors ideology. Where do you come up with your thoughts?

            1. OK, why did 100M folk find it necessary to buy firearms? How many people own swords, table saws, or sledge hammers? You know random tools they don’t need for work, or a hobby?

              1. You really can’t fathom a use for a weapon other than comfort against your neighbors thoughts? What occupies your head? How were you raised? Where were you during your formative years? Where did you learn this paranoia? I generally encourage firearms ownership, but you appear to be the representative case for why not everyone should be armed.

    1. The article said he graduated from Mountain View high school. North Bend area. How is that LaPine parenting? Ignorant comment! Plenty of great folks in Lapine and Sunriver. You are profiling an area out of your prejudice.

      1. “They were told he was at a family property in the 5500 block on Homestead Way, between Sunriver and La Pine.”

        Sounds like he lived in south Deschutes county which is where he was arrested and went to Bend High, which makes sense .. you know Bend/ Lapine School District.

    1. That is not how the law works. And no, the DA and/or the governor are NOT in charge of releasing people who are charged with crimes. There are many factors that go into a person’s “release” from custody, murder is not a crime where he or anyone is just put “back on the streets in no time.”

        1. And then there’s Timothy Simpkins release one day after being charged with attempted murder of three people and no evidence of being bullied.

        1. Pfft. Obviously, if Hillary was guilty of even half of what she’s been accused, she woulda been locked up long ago, but she isn’t and hasn’t. I anxiously await the contorted convoluted conspiracy crap you have to go through to try to explain this simple fact away…

  2. Wow people!! I know this family very well and this kid is not a THUG like you’re saying. You don’t have a right to judge him at all, you don’t know what his life was like or what triggered this!! All we all should be doing right now is praying for the family that lost their daughter and what an awful thing to feel. But also, how this family feels and mourns for Keenan right now. Everyone just Assumes that right away this is a thug, or gang related, or a school shooting without knowing the facts of the whole story. Let’s all find some kindness in this world that is what is needed not adding more hatred to it all!!

    1. Many (most) people would consider that an appropriate adjective for someone who shoots and kills a defenseless young woman in cold blood, and that “knowing the whole story” would not ameliorate the situation.

  3. I think this is going to be a crime of passion. Seems to me they may have been arguing and it got way out of hand. I remember being 20, and I overreacted to everything. Never hurt anyone but I broke alot of items being a young idiot.

    1. And the teenagers and 20 somethings feel more entitled today and how nothing is their fault sadly. Don’t have a link backing that up but have seen it with how kids come in where I work acting like wild animals. I hope victim’s family can heal in time with this tragedy.

    1. We have a number who were sentenced to death, at least one has appealed it successfully multiple times over 20 years costing millions of dollars. There is no question he was involved in the crime, just doesn’t want to pay with his life for the two who were killed in their own home. And it looks like he will be successful avoiding the penalty. What a waste of money

  4. Public hangings need to come back as well as stockade for thieves. A little public shame is proven to work. The feel good programs don’t.

      1. Well I’m not sure about you but if I were threatened with the thought of being hung by the neck in a public place I would definitely think twice about committing capital crimes. Far different from sitting in a comfy cell reading books and/or watching tv getting a free meal 3 times daily while someone else does your laundry.we have become pretty soft on convicted criminals.

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