Während woman at 7-Eleven buys milk, boyfriend is shot outside

Während woman at 7-Eleven buys milk, boyfriend is shot outside ...

After their dryer broke down in March, Patty Faye Laughlin and her boyfriend, Michael Arrington, drove to the Alpine 24-hour Laundromat in North Portland from their Vancouver home to visit the facility.

They grabbed donuts near the curb and then went to a 7-Eleven so Laughlin could buy chocolate milk.

Laughlin went into the store, while Arrington waited in the back seat of the car, parked right in front of him.

She heard two sudden gunshots. The store clerk shouted that someone had been hit.

Arrington was found on the ground by the front door, kneeling on his hands and knees, and Laughlin ran out and found him.

Arrington was the 25th person to die by homicide in Portland this year, and one of only two people killed on March 31. The city is seeing a soaring rise in gun violence and killings -- 69 homicides so far, on track to break 79 in 1987.


Arringtons case is one of only 28 of 66 homicides, not including three fatal shootings by police this year, that have resulted in an arrest, a warrant issued for an investigation, or identifying s/he. He was one of a handful of people to be killed when they stumbled upon an apparent crime in progress.

The suspect in the killing is the youngest in any of this years homicides, at 16 years old.

Surveillance video from the store and dashcam video of Laughlins car captured how events unfolded about 4:30 a.m. on that day.

Two teenagers enter the store while two more rush straight to the drivers side of Laughlin parked car, according to two videos. She doesnt have audio, but she thinks they might have wanted to steal the car.

Arrington, 53, is sitting in the front passenger seat. According to video from the store, he eventually steps out and walks around the front of the car, holding his walking cane in front. The other two teens inside the shop emerge with cases of beer and begin to walk off.

Laughlin said he is believed to have told the adolescent boys to take off, stating that they had found what they wanted.

According to the surveillance video, one of the two teens seated beside the car appears to shoot at Arrington.

Arrington collapses on the sidewalk, then crawls to the stores front doors.

Michael Arrington, who was shot in the leg, was able to get on his hands and knees and open the front door of the store and call for help after falling. Store video surveillance is a method of ensuring that store video is kept up to date.

Laughlin is seen coming out and making a beeline to the car.

She said she grabbed her cellphone and called 911. Following a dispatchers instructions, she rolled Arrington over, held his head up, and placed pressure on his abdomen swollen left side.

He said, Baby, it hurts. She said it hurts.

Michael, I love you,' and I kissed him. And he says, It hurts, baby. She said, I love you too,'"

As police and paramedics arrived, they asked Laughlin to return. She said she knew Arrington wasnt going to make it.

He died on the way to the hospital from a single gunshot wound to his side on his way home. His family said that the bullet struck his aorta.

Michael Arrington, who was on his way to the hospital, died on the way. I was angry. I was mad. I was hurt. Patty Faye Laughlin admitted, "I was lost." Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive | Maxin Bernstone |

I was angry. I was mad. I was hurt. I was lost, Laughlin said.

According to the clerk, the two adolescentes who entered the store had taken $18 worth of Modelo beer.


On the morning of the funeral for Arrington, his mother, Alice Lawson, and brother, Jason Lawsons, were heading to the service when they received a call from Portland homicide detective Travis Law.

The judge ruled that police had arrested Arringtons alleged killer that day about 3 a.m. According to the family, officers had recovered the weapon used and had the assistance of another teenager who had been at the scene.

Kevin Estrada-Mendez, a 16-year-old alleged shooter, and his friends were shocked to learn that Estrado-Metez was only 16.

Alice Lawson said, It made me feel so bad.

Estrada-Mendez was seen sneaking out of Arringtons home, according to Arora s family members, and Addington's relatives said they were told Estrado- Mendeze was hiding out.

According to the family, detectives believe the teen may have been involved in other robberies and carjackings leading up to Arringtons death, though he has yet to be charged.

Elizabeth Levi, the teen's lawyer, didn't return calls seeking comment. His next court date is set for early November.

Michael Arrington, 53, on left, and a relative, are pictured together. He was born in Portland, but grew up in Vancouver. Arrington's family described him as a religious man who loved animals and would often take in stray dogs. Courtesy of family


Arrington was born in Portland, but grew up in Vancouver. He had his own landscaping business and was just getting ready to start work for the summer, his mother said.

Jason Lawson, a six-year-old by comparison, stated that he was 6-foot-4 and wore size 15 or 16 shoes.

Jason Lawson was in the hospital when Jason Arrington was killed. He had suffered a spinal fracture during swerving. Arrington had installed a ramp for him at the entrance to the home the couple shared.

Jason Lawson said he wanted him to be his caretaker.

Alice Lawson was so enraged when she said, It made me so mad. Jason Lawson, on the left, stated that his older brother still had so much to live. He added, "He had so much more to give to people." (The gunman) took so many people of that, he said. Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive | Maxines Bernstone |

Arrington was a religious man, spontaneous and funny, who loved animals and took in stray dogs.

And he was a romantic -- whenever the song Promise Me by Ed Sheeran came on, Laughlin would accompany him, his mother said.

At Laughlins request, they performed Dancing in the Sky during his funeral service as a tribute to him.


The family said they want the alleged gunman to be prosecuted as an adult.

Estrada-Mendez has been charged as a juvenile and the case is currently being heard in Multnomah County Juvenile Court. He has been held in the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center in Northeast Portland.

Patty Faye Laughlin keeps this photo of her boyfriend Michael Arrington on her phone. She was in the 7-Eleven store when he was shot just outside of the front doors. Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive | Maxin Bernstone |

According to the court, if he was tried as a juvenile and convicted, then il would likely be sentenced to nine years in the states juvenile prison, with his release date set at 25.

Young people no longer are automatically transferred to adult court on Measure 11, the most serious of which require state law to impose minimum sentences. The 16-year-old is accused of first-degree murder and first degree robbery.

The state juvenile justice law, which was adopted in 2019, aims to keep juveniles accused of serious crimes out of adult court and into the juvenile system, where the sentences are shorter and the emphasis is on rehabilitation.

Arringtons family said the justice system must take into account the apparent randomness of the shooting and the alleged cold disregard for life in this case.

Jason Lawson said that he had so much more to give to people. (The gunman) took away so many lives, she said.

Alice Lawson said it was so unnecessary, adding that it had to be done. Our lives havent been the same since our first day here. We just exist.

Maxine Bernstein, Maxin Bernheim,

Email at mbernstein@oregonian.com; 503-221-8212;

Follow @maxoregonian on Twitter @metropolitan

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