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Faith leader, anti-gun violence activist mourns stepson killed in shooting

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    PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — A faith leader in Portland who’s been outspoken on the issue of gun violence, is now grieving himself.

“You know nothing prepares you for it,” Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church Pastor Matt Hennessee said.

Hennessee says his stepson, 33-year-old Jalon Yoakum was shot and killed at Northeast Sandy Boulevard near Northeast 118th Avenue.

“We were in prayer meeting about to you know start bible study, and when I got the message I was like I need somebody to take over,” Hennessee said.

FOX 12 asked Hennessee what he thinks may have happened and if his stepson was in a gang.

“Yeah, so far I’ve been silent on that issue because the investigation is going on right now,” Hennessee said. “The officers have said to us when they and I think they’re waiting until after the service on Saturday to talk with us I suspect sometime next week.”

Hennessee says right now he wants to focus on a life that’s lost.

He says his stepson was a goofy family guy and father of two.

“I would want him to be remembered as a person who really wanted to do constructive things with his life and wanted to be as decent as he could be. And in fact he was very supportive of the work that I did, that I’ve done,” Hennessee said. “And in that way it wasn’t as if he was saying I’m going to be at every rally or I’m going to be at everything, it’s just that I really appreciate what you’re doing because it’s very important.”

Feeling such pain, the pastor wanted to express his gratitude to the Portland community who he says has reached out in every way possible to support his family right now.

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