PORTLAND — Authorities say a 45-year-old man told police he shot and killed two people in a Portland apartment building after voices inside his head told him to while he was under the influence of methamphetamine.
The Oregonian/Oregon Live reports that Michael S. VanDomelen pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder during an arraignment in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Monday. The Portland man is being held without bail.
Police have not identified the victims, but court documents say a man and woman were found dead inside an apartment in Old Town, Portland, around 6:25 a.m. Sunday. The deaths, which mark the 68th and 69th homicides, are the latest in the city’s deadliest year — surpassing the previous record of 66 set in 1987.
A resident of the apartment building told police that he went into the hallway after hearing shots fired on the third floor and saw a male and female who had been shot inside an open apartment, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday.
The witness told police that he encountered VanDomelen in the hallway and asked if he knew who shot the victims.
“I did,” VanDomelen said, according to court documents.
Police arrested VanDomelen at the scene and found a 9mm handgun in his pocket. Officers say while in the squad car VanDomelen admitted to shooting two people.
The three-story building where the shooting occurred is run as a single-resident occupancy hotel by Central City Concern, with most residents receiving rent subsidies through Section 8, according to the organization’s website. Police say Sunday’s shooting involved two residents and one guest.
The shooting is the fifth double homicide in Portland this year.