Man pleads guilty to murder in random stabbing attack in Old Town Portland

Michael Lee Williams and Jacob Shroyer (Multnomah County Jail photo).

Michael Williams, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder in connection with the death of Jacob Shroyer, who died after he was randomly stabbed in Old Town Portland last year.

Williams also pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in the third degree in connection with an unrelated victim.

Shroyer died in the hospital on May 15, 2017, a few days after the attack.

Police discovered that Shroyer had made a grocery run to Safeway before the attack, and was coming home to his partner at his Pacific Tower apartment on Northwest 4th Avenue. Parking lot video shows a brief encounter with another bystander who managed to run away from the suspect as he made a beeline for Shroyer.

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, according to court documents. 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 the 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.

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