At approximately 9:37 am on May 20, 1997, Lonnie Gaston was standing outside his residence on the 5000 block of NE 26th Ave when an older model blue Ford sedan pulled up. Mr. Gaston, a 27-year-old African-American man, began to flee when the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle began firing at him. He was hit several times and died at the scene.
Lonnie Gaston was a former Los Angeles Crips gang member and was reported to be selling drugs in Portland near the time of his death. Mr. Gaston was not involved in gangs here in the Portland area.
The driver of the vehicle has been described as an African-American man, 5 feet 9 inches tall, heavyset with a mustache. Police believe that there were several witnesses at the scene and would like them to come forward with any information that they may have.
The Cold Case Unit would like anyone with information regarding this case to contact them. Witnesses may contact Cold Case Homicide Unit investigators directly at (503) 823-0400. To remain anonymous, witnesses may provide information through Crime Stoppers of Oregon.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this case, or any unsolved felony, and tipsters can remain anonymous.
Information learned from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube should be shared with investigators as these tips may lead to the identification of a suspect or suspects. Links can be shared directly with investigators or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at http://crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by the tip, or call (503) 823-HELP (4357) and leave the tip information. Tips can be left in English or Spanish.
Visit http://www.tipsoft.com to download the Crime Stoppers App for the iPhone or Droid.