A couple of things to clarify in the ongoing story about two homeless men who were shot and wounded by a passing vehicle while sleeping under the Morrison Bridge on February 22: Despite statements issued to reporters and community members in the wake of the shooting, Carter "Joe" Hickman and Albert "Allen" Dean never stayed at Right 2 Dream Too, the tent refuge at NW 4th and Burnside.
R2D2 organizers had said the men were turned away from the tent refuge the night before they were shot; others told stories about Joe and Allen being at camp. The Mercury and the Oregonian both reported that assertion—and I wove that strand into a cover story about the shooting. Organizer Ibrahim Mubarak issued the correction a few hours before a Saturday candlelight vigil in honor of Joe and Allen, along with an apology.
No doubt the retraction will justly raise questions about whether organizers decided to seize on the shooting to help shine a favorable light on the camp, which is weathering a city code crackdown.
"People thought they had been staying there," Mubarak told me this morning. "It was mistaken identity."
Also, despite talk at the vigil that Allen has gone "missing" since the shooting, that's not the case. I learned this morning that a staffer at Saint André Bessette Catholic Church (aka the Downtown Chapel) spoke with both men in the hospital yesterday. "Allen is not missing," I was told.
R2D2's statement is after the cut.
To the press and the community:
On February 22, two men, Carter Hickman and Albert Dean, were shot while sleeping under the Morrison Bridge. Right 2 Dream Too issued a response on February 24 which included a statement that at least one of the men had stayed at Right 2 Dream Too and/or tried to secure a place there the night they were shot. We have since learned that we were wrong, that the two had never stayed at Right 2 Dream Too. We apologize for this mistake, especially for any stress, confusion or harm our actions may have caused for Carter Hickman and Albert Dean.
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