Alex Oyombe Gradin, a student at Lane Community College, was shot and killed in a parking lot behind Taylor’s Bar and Grill in the early hours of May 4, according to the Eugene Police Department. He was 21 years old.
Alex was born in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya where he spent his first few months before being adopted by the Gradin family.
A statement released by the family to the public reads:
“We appreciate the outpouring of love and concern we have received in the tragic death of our son, Alex. He was an unexpected blessing to our lives when he joined us as a baby in Kenya and grew to be a compassionate, thoughtful young man. He naturally made many friends all over the world, who are grieving right now. We request at this time that you allow us to heal and support each other as a family.”
According to news reports, University of Oregon police and the Eugene Police Department responded to a report of shots fired behind Taylor’s Bar and Grill. In the lot behind the bar, they found a man who had been shot. He died at the scene.
A friend of Gradin’s from middle school, Anastasia Preece spoke to KPTV and she believes Gradin was in the wrong place at the wrong time:
“It’s still mind-blowing. I don’t even think it’s completely sat in for anyone yet that it was actually Alex that was caught in that situation. I can’t ever see him being menacing towards anyone or anything. I don’t even think he’s even capable of those emotions.”