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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.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts
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Barney Lerten

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

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