PORTLAND -- A Southeast Portland man died after getting shot in the parking lot of the Mystic Gentleman's Club late Wednesday evening.
Police identified him Thursday morning as Robert Edward Ford Jr., 31. His family told KGW he was a caring father and a good friend.
The shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. outside the strip club at 9950 SE Stark. Responding officers found Ford with gunshot wounds inside a car he had been driving. He was rushed to a Portland hospital where he later died, said Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Simpson said "a substantial number of witnesses" had spilled out of the club and were in the parking lot when East Precinct and gang officers arrived. It appeared that Ford may have crashed into several parked cars and a party bus after he was shot.
Ford's mother said not only did she lose a son, but four children lost their loving father.
"He was honest and loving. He would do anything for anybody, give you the shirt off his back," a deeply shaken Debra Ford said. "I think whoever did it was cruel. He didn't deserve that, he didn't deserve it at all."
Steve Schumacher, owner of Rip City Party Bus, told KGW that he and about 15 clients having a bachelor party pulled into the parking lot about 10:45. Most went inside the club, about four or five stayed on the bus.
Schumacher said he was inside when a club employee ran up and told him someone had hit the bus.
"I come running out here and as I run out the door, I see the car here, tires spinning, smoke coming off from the radiator," he said, "So I run around to the side and by then, other people were already tending to the driver. And I thought it was just a drunk driver that came in and ran into the bus, and all of a sudden people start saying that he had been shot."
The man's foot was still on the accelerator and Schumacher said he told someone to reach in and shut down the engine.
He said the victim bled profusely. One of men in the bachelor party used his shirt to try and stem the flow. The man was conscious when an ambulance took him to the hospital.
A silver Lexus involved in the shooting left eastbound on Stark, witnesses told police. Gresham police stopped a similar car at 192nd and Burnside. Four people in that car were detained as "persons of interest," Simpson said.
A motive in the shooting remains unclear, but Ford has a lengthy criminal history and affiliations with gangs, Simpson said. Investigators were still trying to determine if the shooting itself was gang-related.
Ford's family said that's not the man they knew.
"He was a kind person. He helped everybody. He loved his kids so much. He had three boys and one daughter," Debra said.
Anyone with tips that may help investigators was asked to call (503) 823-3333. The public faces no risk from the shooting, Simpson said.