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Shooter left note, but no motive

Ayala (The Spokesman-Review)
Ayala (The Spokesman-Review)

Two girls killed outside Portland nightspot

PORTLAND – The man suspected of shooting nine people and himself outside a Portland nightspot left a note in which he bequeathed his car and PlayStation 3 to a roommate and said he was sorry.

In the note, released by Portland police Monday, Erik S. Ayala, 24, meticulously lists off his bank account information and how his roommate can get top dollar for the game station.

“I’m sorry to put all this on you buddy, good luck,” Ayala wrote.

Portland police are still without a motive for the Saturday night shooting, which killed two girls, injured seven other people and has become an international tragedy because six of the victims were exchange students.

Martha “Tika” Paz de Noboa, a 17-year-old, who had come to the U.S. from Peru to learn English, and 16-year-old Ashley Wilks, a Clackamas, Ore., sophomore, died after Ayala fired into the crowd outside an under-21 nightclub, police said.

Ayala shot himself in the head and was in critical condition in a Portland hospital, police said. Three other victims were also being treated at hospitals as of Monday afternoon.

Detective Mark Slater said the downtown shooting turned to “chaos in the street.”

Slater said police found Ayala’s car in downtown Portland, and they used it to identify him. They’ve since searched his home, where they found a case for the 9 mm semiautomatic gun used in the shooting, ammunition and the note he left for his roommate and family.

“To my friends and family: I am sorry. And to my friend: I am especially sorry,” Ayala wrote. “I know it’s not much consolation but as my friend and roommate you are entitled to everything that I own. Maybe these things can bring in a few bucks.”

Ayala’s roommate, Mike Delisle, told the Oregonian that Ayala didn’t typically go to dance clubs, did not own a gun and never showed an interest in firearms.

“I didn’t see it coming,” he said.

Ayala’s family was also blindsided, Slater said. “They’re upset. They’re trying to deal with it. Trying to make sense.”

Police said there appeared to be no link between Ayala and the victims.

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Police Department, called the incident “an international tragedy that has taken the lives of two bright women.”

Police and local school officials have identified the five wounded exchange students as Ana Zambrano Soledispa, 18, of Ecuador; Gonzalo Vasquez Orozco, 18, of Guatemala; Trista Chang, 18, of Taiwan; Susanna DeSousa, 18 of Italy; and Anne Sophie Rialland, 16, of France.

Two other injured victims are from the Portland area: Jalontae Howard, 16, a Gresham high school student, and Brad Yoast, the general manager of Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, next door to The Zone nightclub.

Rotary officials said De Noboa and Wilks were in a group of exchange students at The Zone to celebrate a birthday. The Oregon girl planned to study abroad next year in France or Spain.

Scott Bieber, the youth protection officer for Rotary district that includes parts of northern Oregon and southern Washington, said the organization plans to provide trauma counseling for the students and families.

He said Rotary officials will likely review precautions it encourages students to take while on exchange in the U.S., although there was no way the organization could have protected them from Saturday’s shooting.

“Obviously there are going to be some concerns,” he said. “It’s hard to think that we would do anything different without letting them have the experience of being an exchange student in America.”

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