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Ex-Portland State University Football Player Arrested In Other Student’s Fatal Shooting

Keenan Harpole, a student at Portland State University who was once a running back on the school’s football team, was arrested on murder and domestic violence charges after the Monday shooting death of fellow student Amara Marluke


By Dorian Geiger
Amara Marluke

A 19-year-old Portland State University music student was shot and killed in a suspected domestic violence incident this week, according to reports.

Amara Marluke, a vocalist with “enormous artistic potential,” was gunned down nearby the school’s campus on Monday, authorities and university officials confirmed. 

Police were dispatched to Southwest College Street and Southwest 6th Avenue in Portland, near the school's campus, at around 1 a.m. on April 4 after reports of a shooting. Upon arrival, Marluke, who had gunshot wounds, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her death was ruled a homicide. 

Keenan Harpole agreed to turn himself into law enforcement and was later arrested in Bend, Oregon — about 160 miles southeast of Portland — on second-degree murder, domestic violence and unlawful use of a weapon charges, online records show. Portland ABC affiliate WATU reported that Harpole's family has a property there where he was arrested, and Portland NBC affiliate KGW reported that he'd graduated from a Bend-area high school.

Harpole, a former running back on the university’s football team, is also an active student at the school, according to the university. He was enrolled in an applied health and fitness program.

Marluke was a freshman student at Portland State University, school officials confirmed with Oxygen.com on Wednesday. She was a scholarship recipient studying in the Sonic Arts and Music Production program. A spokesperson for the school described her as a “talented singer.”

“I am profoundly affected by the sheer tragedy of this loss,” Portland State University President Stephen Percy said in a statement on April 5. “My heart breaks for Amara’s family and for everyone who knew her. I offer my deepest sympathies. We will work together as a campus community to heal.” 

Percy added that Marluke was a “vibrant member” of the school’s community. 

Amara Marluke

The university’s School of Music and Theater also issued a statement following the young woman’s death, describing Marluke as a burgeoning musician. 

“She was just starting out in her academic career at PSU, but her enormous artistic potential and musicality were evident to everyone she interacted with,” Director Bonnie Miksch wrote.

“Amara brought her passionate commitment to social justice to her art practice, using her music as a vehicle for her activism and the movement for Black Lives," she added. "She understood the power of music to heal, transform and inspire a hurting world, and she was building the foundation of a career that would allow her to achieve her dreams.”

No further information was readily available from law enforcement this week. A public information officer for the Portland Police Bureau declined to comment on the active case on Wednesday afternoon. Portland State University Athletics declined to comment on the matter on Wednesday afternoon, deferring all questions to the school’s media relations team. 

Harpole is being held without bail at a Multnomah County detention facility, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. It’s unclear if the 20-year-old former varsity athlete has retained legal counsel to comment on his behalf.