Eugene police look for answers in death investigation

On his Facebook page, Anthony Xavier Johnson indicated he attended school in Eugene but lived in Spokane, Wash. (Photograph of Facebook profile)

EUGENE, Ore. – Eugene Police are looking for clues in the death of a 24-year-old man in the Whiteaker neighborhood Thursday night. He was found after police responded to a report of shots fired.

The investigation is still open and police aren’t saying much. There’s still no word on what sparked the incident and who might be responsible.

Thursday night, police lights filled the area of 4th Avenue and Adams Street in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood.

Neighbors said they heard shouting that later led to the sounds of gunshots. After the commotion, the shock set in.

“Towards this body lying there and then the cop flipped it over and the guy was dead,” said Kari Johnson, a neighbor in the area.

The victim was identified as 24-year-old Anthony Xavier Johnson.

Johnson had a previous arrest record.

According to a Eugene police report, he was taken into custody on June 15 on Barger Drive on a Fugitive from Justice warrant out of Washington State.

But that doesn’t matter to some neighbors.

“I said a prayer for him. No one should be going out that way,” Johnson said.

She said violence in the area is nothing new. She said she’s seen it first hand for more than two decades.

“There's a lot of violence and trouble here. It's just a system of poverty,” Johnson said.

But other neighbors said it doesn’t represent their community.

“We've done a whole lot to build this area and to see this happen is very disappointing and also saddening,” said Michael Autry, owner of Board restaurant.

Now, they’re committed to becoming even more tightknit.

“It helps to have the neighborhood rallying together,” Johnson said.

They all hope something like this doesn’t happen again.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them. They can’t build a case unless they have enough evidence to move forward.

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