Former Portland State University football player charged in fatal shooting of fellow student

A former Portland State University football player was charged with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a fellow student.

The victim, identified as Amara Marluke, 19, was found dead Monday near the Oregon university’s campus, according to the Portland Police Bureau. An autopsy determined that the woman died from gunshot wounds. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Police announced later Monday that the suspect, Keenan Harpole, 20, had turned himself in.

A statement from Portland State University President Stephen Percy identified both the suspect and victim as students of the school.

Amara Marluke.Portland Police Bureau

He said that Marluke “was an artist and an activist and a vibrant member of our community.”

Harpole, Percy said, was a former football player at the school. An online roster said he played last year as a freshman.

“I am profoundly affected by the sheer tragedy of this loss. My heart breaks for Amara’s family and for everyone who knew her. I offer my deepest sympathies,” Percy said.

Harpole is being held without bail at the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon, jail records show. He entered an initial plea of not guilty on Tuesday, NBC affiliate KGW of Portland reported. Records do not list the name of a lawyer.

During Harpole’s arraignment, a statement from Marluke’s family was read, according to the news station.

“To say that Amara was the light of our life would not begin to do her justice. She was an activist who worked to support those who couldn’t speak for themselves,” the statement said. “She had a rough start to her own life, lived through the years of the foster system, and somehow still had endless capacity to love and to help others. She touched our lives and those of so many others. Her dedication to her family and friends was unwavering. That she would fall victim to a senseless and violent death is unimaginable.”