Victim's friends and family react to arrest in deadly Salem shooting: 'I want to know why'
Police found the Gervais man shot to death inside a pickup truck in a northeast Salem alley early Friday morning. Investigators arrested a suspect in the case Tuesday on murder charges.
Friends say the victim, Kenny Kalugin, was fun, owned a successful Salem painting business, and had no disputes with anyone they know of.
"I want to know why," said Elizabeth Moffett, a friend of Kalugin's. "Did Kenny cry out? Did Kenny plead for his life? Did Kenny say something before he shot and killed him? I want to know why Kenny. It just isn’t fair."
Moffett says she talked with Kalugin just a week ago, then didn’t hear from him after Friday.
"We just thought he was missing," said Moffett. "His girlfriend texted me and said Kenny was shot and killed and I said ‘you’re kidding, right?’ I just talked to him the other day. And we didn’t want to believe it was him until yesterday his body was IDed."
Witnesses say police spent all day Friday gathering evidence in the alley where Kalugin's body was found.
Jake Carter works near the deadly shooting scene and watched investigators go over evidence, stunned at what had happened.
"Pretty weird," said Carter, "I mean you don’t really think that happens right where you work every morning but, you know, sometimes there’s bad people."
Investigators tracked the shooting suspect , 21-year-old Jose Ricardo Barboza-Manzo , to a home in Tillamook County.
Authorities say Barboza-Manzo refused to surrender until Oregon State Police SWAT officers arrived at the house.
Elizabeth Moffett plans to be at Barboza-Manzo’s first court appearance Wednesday on behalf of Kenny Kalugin. The suspect is set to be arraigned on aggravated murder charges.
"I know he’d want us to be there," Moffett said. "My husband can’t be there, but at least I can be there. He’d want somebody in his circle to be there at the final part... for Kenny, yes."
Kenny Kalugin's father didn't want to comment on the case Tuesday night, other than to say he's grateful for police tracking down a suspect in his son's death and is looking forward to getting more information when he meets with detectives Wednesday.