File:Map of Oregon highlighting Multnomah County.svg

On January 24, 2009, Erik Salvador Ayala opened fire indiscriminately outside of an under-21 nightclub, called The Zone, in Portland, Oregon, United States, killing two attendees and wounding seven others. Most of the victims were foreign exchange students.[1][2] Police have defined murders as a random act of violence. It has been called, "the worst mass shooting in Portland's history".[3][4]

Ayala was critically wounded after the attack by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.[5] He died two days later in a Portland-area hospital.[6]


At approximately 10:30 p.m. PST, Ayala drove his vehicle to Southwest 4th Avenue and Southwest Main Street in the downtown of Portland, and walked ahead of The Zone, an under-21 nightclub where a birthday party was being held.[2][7] Ayala fired indiscriminately onto a group of teenagers and customers waiting outside the entrance of KELL's Irish Pub with a 9mm Tanfoglio T95 semiautomatic pistol,[7] killing two people and wounding seven others. Most of the victims were in a foreign exchange student program.[1][8] Ayala then shot himself in the head, critically injuring himself in the suicide attempt,[8][9] dying on the following Tuesday afternoon at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.[5][6]

16-year-old Ashley Lauren Wilks was pronounced dead at the scene, by responding emergency personnel, from two gunshot wounds. 17-year-old Martha Paz De Noboa was pronounced dead at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital shortly after being shot.[7] 18-year-old Susanna De Sousa was in critical condition from injuries to her stomach, chest, and neck. Bradley Yoast, the general manager of Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, a neighboring bar, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach; he was discharged from a hospital two weeks later.[10]



Three people were killed in the shooting, including the shooter. They are:[1]


Seven people were injured in the shooting:[1][10][11]

  • Jouyuan Trista Chang, 18 (Taiwan)
  • Susanna "Susy" De Sousa, 18 (Italy)
  • Jalontae Howard, 16 (Portland, Oregon)
  • Gonzalo Vasquez Orozco, 18 (Guatemala)
  • Anne Sophie Rialland, 16 (France)
  • Ana Zambrano Soledispa, 18 (Ecuador)
  • Bradley Steven Yoast, 44 (Portland, Oregon)


The perpetrator of the shooting was Erik Salvador Ayala, 24 (March 10, 1984[5] - January 27, 2009). He graduated from McNary High School, in Keizer, Oregon, in 2002. Although a clear motive was never found, investigators speculated that Ayala had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic during his high school years[citation needed] and once attempted suicide by overdosing on over-the-counter drugs[citation needed]. He worked at Burger King and threw his medication into the garbage instead of taking it. They also state that he used online discussion boards where he stated he disliked "Preppies". He lived at the Pine Ridge Apartments, in Milwaukie (formerly known as Willow Court) where the police and the community have had a long history of ongoing problems (drug dealing, crime, abuse, etc.).[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Shot teens were part of exchange program". KATU. KATU Staff (Portland, Oregon, USA). 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Police look for motive in Oregon nightclub slayings". Associated Press. CNN. 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  3. Davis, Matt (2009-01-29). "Random Violence". Portland Mercury (Portland, Oregon, USA). Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. Bernstein, Maxine (2009-01-26). "Police seek motive in Portland club shooting". Oregon Live (Portland, Oregon, USA). Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Suspect in downtown Portland shooting spree left behind note". KATU (Portland, Oregon, USA). 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Suspect in Portland shooting rampage dies at Portland hospital". KATU (Portland, Oregon, USA). 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Police: Troubled shooter tells roommate, family he’s sorry. Portland Tribune (January 26, 2009). Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-28.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Police: 2 Killed, 8 Injured in Oregon Nightclub Shooting. Fox News (January 26, 2009). Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-28.
  9. "Two dead in teen nightclub shooting". Herald Sun. January 27, 2009.,21985,24968560-23109,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-28. [dead link]
  10. 10.0 10.1 As teen recovers from shooting, two families pull closer. Oregon Live (January 29, 2009). Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-30.
  11. Italian student shot in Ore. urged to stay, Associated Press (January 28, 2009)
  12. "Downtown Shooting Update: A Dislike for Preppies". Willamette Week. WWire (Portland, Oregon, USA). 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
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