A man was shot to death early Saturday morning on Southwest 13th Place in Hermiston near West Highland Avenue, and police are seeking to question a person of interest.

Police were dispatched at 2:31 a.m. after receiving a report of gunshots in the area of 525 S.W. 13th Place, the Viewcrest Apartment complex, according to a statement from the Hermiston Police Department. While en route, police received an update that a male had been shot.

When a police corporal arrived at 2:35 a.m., he began administering CPR to the victim. A medic, who arrived a short time later, began working on him but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shortly after noon Saturday, Capt. Travis Eynon of the Hermiston Police Department said a weapon hadn’t been found.

Officers would like to speak with Tyree Houfmuse, 34, about the incident, and have called him a person of interest. Houfmuse is 6-foot-1, 200-240 pounds and has several tattoos including a large rose on the left side of his neck. Anyone with information about Houfmuse’s whereabouts is encouraged to call 541-567-5519.

A pair of women, who live in units just across the parking lot from the Viewcrest building that was surrounded by crime scene tape, said they were jolted awake by the sound of yelling and gunfire. Both women, who asked not to be identified, said it was frightening.

Fearing that bullets could come through the walls, the woman in the ground-level apartment sprung to action to ensure the safety of her family.

“I grabbed the baby and we went to the back of our apartment,” she said.

Her upstairs neighbor said the gravity of the situation didn’t initially register. Other than an occasional late night drinking party, she said the neighborhood is typically calm and quiet. At first, she thought the popping sounds from the gun was someone merely banging metal pans together. Curious, she looked outside from her second story apartment.

“I saw everything from my bedroom window,” the woman said. “I didn’t even want to step outside.”

She said she also saw a couple of cars speed off from the area.

“They were going so fast, I couldn’t even tell what kind of car it was,” she said.

In addition to the maze of crime scene tape at the apartment complex, police were searching a vacant field at the end of the block at Southwest 13th Place and West Highland Avenue — which is just east of an Ameri-Star convenience store and gas station.

The initial statement, released Saturday morning by Hermiston police, indicated all the people involved at the scene knew each other, but the victim’s next of kin had not been located. The victim’s name has yet to be released.

In addition to personnel from the Hermiston Police Department, the major crime team was activated. Officers from Boardman, Umatilla, Umatilla County, Morrow County, Oregon State Police and the Umatilla Tribal Police were on the scene.

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