ALBANY, Ore. — Albany Police are investigating a series of crimes in Southeast Albany and trying to figure out if they are related – including a murder, sexual assault, and multiple robberies.
An eight-year-old called 911 early Tuesday morning in Albany, when he found his mother bleeding to death after police say somebody shot her.
Albany Police say somebody shot and killed 36-year-old Angela Stephenson in her apartment at the Brookshore Apartments on SE 15th Avenue and Geary Street, but they still do not know who was behind the act.
“I told my kids that somebody got hurt and we needed to pray for the family,” said Michael Duran, who lived right by Stephenson. “I didn’t want to tell them that somebody was murdered on our block.”
Duran says his apartment is across from where Stephenson lived.
“I was stunned and saddened because I just started getting to know the lady,” he said. “I didn’t know her on a personal level – it was more of a hi, bye, and hi how are you doing type of deal. It’s so sad.”
Duran says the murder makes him nervous because he has kids at home.
“I make sure my windows and my doors are locked anyway, but now we’re just double checking and triple checking,” he said.
But a homicide is not the only crime police officers have responded to lately in Southeast Albany.
“We had one instance where somebody did scale up into a second story balcony and were able to make entry that way,” said Captain Eric Carter with Albany Police. “And that’s when our sexual assault occurred.”
Just blocks away from the Brookshore Apartments, police say a man entered a woman’s home on SE 18th Avenue on May 7 with a handgun and sexually assaulted her.
“Now whether they’re related or not – we don’t know at this time,” Carter said.
Carter says there have also been about a dozen robberies in the area within the last month. He says the crimes may be related, but detectives still are not positive.
“We’re not ruling anything out at this point in time,” Carter said. “We don’t have anything right now that’s specifically pointing to these all being related, but we’re certainly not going to rule anything out.”
Neighbors in the area say despite the hot weather, they are locking their doors and windows.
“When I heard about the murder, all I could think of was to make sure all of my doors and windows were locked,” said Brittney Kruger, who lives in the area. “I have a one-year-old and I just wanted her to be safe. It just scares me because I thought I moved into a really nice neighborhood where she’d be super safe.”
Albany Police released a photo of a person of interest, but they are not able to say yet where the picture was taken. If you recognize the man in the photo, or know anything about any of the crimes in Southeast Albany, call the Albany Police Detective Unit at (541) 917-7686.
“We’d hate to see something in the future where somebody says: ‘Well I did see something going on, I just chose not to call,’” Carter said.
In the meantime, Carter warns anyone living in the area to keep their doors and windows shut and locked.
“Don’t take for granted that you’re on a second story balcony of an apartment complex that that means you’re immune,” Carter said. “Some of the common themes are open windows, open sliding glass doors – things of that nature.”