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Court docs: Suspect in deadly Old Town stabbing chased victim down before brutal attack

Court docs Suspect in Jacob Shroyer's stabbing death also involved in TriMet assault.jpg

Surveillance video shows a man chasing down 37-year-old Jacob Shroyer in the parking lot outside his Old Town apartment, forcing his way inside the lobby and stabbing him in the chest multiple times, according to court documents recently obtained by KATU News.

Shroyer died in the hospital May 16, a few days after the attack, and the man police believe to be his killer will likely face upgraded or additional charges. Officials have connected 33-year-old Michael Lee Williams to the stabbing and an unrelated incident on a TriMet bus shortly after the stabbing -- the latter of which led to his arrest, per the documents.

Williams had initially been charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, third-degree robbery, criminal mischief and unlawful use of a weapon.

[The following narrative is according to facts provided in the probable cause statement filed May 12, several days before Shroyer's death.]

Police used surveillance video from the lobby, the parking lot, nearby businesses and TriMet to piece together the crimes and connect the suspect back to the fatal stabbing.

Police work discovered Shroyer had just made a grocery run to Safeway nearby, and was coming home to his partner at his Pacific Tower apartment on Northwest 4th Avenue when Williams came after him on his way inside. Parking lot video shows a brief encounter with another bystander who managed to run away from the suspect as he made a beeline for Schroyer.

According to the documents, Williams is seen chasing Shroyer through the parking lot, out into the street and then back toward the lobby, where Shroyer tried to lock the suspect outside.

It didn't work.

Video shows Williams forcing his way inside, cornering Shroyer in the lobby and stabbing him repeatedly, even coming back a second time to continue the attack, the documents describe.

Shroyer survived the attack initially, and appeared to call 911 as he collapsed in the lobby.

By this time, Williams was already on his way to commit another crime, the documents said. Hopping on a TriMet bus sometime later, Williams reportedly grabbed another man's wallet and refused to give it back, punching the victim repeatedly in the face when he tried to reclaim it.

The reports from the driver said Williams tried to break his way out through the hydraulic doors at the front, but failed, then escaping out the back door before police arrived.

However, a bystander followed him, pointing him out to police when they caught up. Officers confronted Williams, saw the blood on his hands and made the arrest, according to the documents. At this time, they weren't aware of teh connection to what would become a homicide investigation.

As detectives noticed the similarities between their robbery suspect and the flyers out for Jacob's attacker, the dots began to line up. Police used clothing, facial features and the dark circle on his cheekbone (as seen in his mugshot) to connect Williams to both crimes.

The probable cause statements then pieced together all the surveillance footage, witness accounts and police reports to file the charges.

Remembering Jacob

Wednesday afternoon, a few of Jacob's friends gathered in front of Bishops Barbershop where Jacob works, to talk about their friend.

"He has been my close friend and barber and he is the person I trusted to cut off my dreads in 2014 he is very important to me and I love him very much," James Dixon said.

Dixon said Jacob is a fighter. He thanked the doctors and nurses who treated Jacob at a local hospital.

Police say they don't believe Jacob did anything to provoke the suspect. Instead, he may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It appears this is completely random. This suspect went after this victim for no known reason and attacked him pretty viciously," Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland Police Bureau said. "He seems like a hard-working guy, just living and working and has a lot of support, so we are hoping that people will come forward with information."

With tears in his eyes and a heavy heart, Jacob's family and friends hope for swift justice.

"Jacob, we love you and adore you," Dixon said.

They created a YouCaring website to help pay for Jacob's recovery before he passed. The page lovingly remembers him as "our beloved DJ, Bishop's stylist, friend and community member."

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