PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland police have identified an 18-year-old as the suspect in a deadly stabbing that took place earlier this year.
Gerson Perez-Gil is accused of second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Isaiah J. Maza, Jr., the Portland Police Bureau said Wednesday.
Maza was stabbed on the evening of Jan. 31, 2021 in the 100 block of NE 120th Avenue. Police said he died at the scene.
Renee Maza told KOIN 6 News her son had been barbequing with family when he decided to walk to a nearby convenience store to buy some chips.
“He never made it to the store,” said Renee. “He died right there in his slides and sweatpants and hoodie. That’s where he died, going to get chips for his girlfriend.”
Flowers were planted near the sidewalk where Isaiah died, about a block from his home.
Detectives said they’ve obtained an arrest warrant for Perez-Gil and are asking for the public’s help in finding him.
“He took away a father, a son and a brother and a mentor,” said Renee. “It needs to be dealt with so my son can lay at rest and me and my youngest son can sleep at night and not have to worry.”
Renee said she will always remember Isaiah for his encouragement of young people, helping them to grow and make changes based on his own experiences. She said her son “enlightened other kids to believe in themselves and that’s why he gave them a chance to believe in themselves.”
Renee said she worries that if her son’s killer isn’t brought to justice, another young person may meet the same fate as Isaiah.
“He was brutally murdered for absolutely no reason so why wouldn’t that young man do it to somebody else?” she asked. Renee also worries staffing shortages within the PPB could impact the chances of finding the suspect.
Call 911 if you see Perez-Gil but do not approach him. Police are asking for specific details on his location, which direction he was seen traveling and what he was wearing.
Anyone who has non-time-sensitive information about the suspect or the case is asked to contact Detective Shaye Samora at [email protected] or 503.823.0768 or Detective Erik Kammerer at [email protected] or 503.823.0762.