By TJ Cantamessa
On April 13th, 2016 some friends were having a get together in a family park when they were shot by a local man. Authorities said John David Mills, 29, was killed in the incident. A second man, Cain Lee Barnett, 21, was injured in the shooting. The skaters said they were enjoying a barbecue at emerald park on Tuesday night when they witnessed a man starting to get very aggravated with a woman that he was at the park with. They said the man’s anger started to shift towards their group of friends. North Eugene student Anthony Norene said that the man started to approach the group of skaters and started to get very loud with them. He then mentioned that he had a gun. One of the skaters in the group yelled to the shooter, Orlando Centeno “what are you going to do shoot us?”. Norene then said that the man pulled out a handgun and shot Mills in the back of the head. He then said that Barnett pulled his pregnant girlfriend away to save her from being shot and that’s when Barnett was shot in the arm. It was then said by the Register guard that Centeno went back to his house just a few hundred feet away and shot himself in the privacy of his home.
When I and others looked into the history that Centeno had with the park we found that he had had a very long history with the park. Centeno was banned a while before the shooting because he had a confrontation with the same group of skaters based on the fact that the skaters had been throwing out racial slurs at him. This could have been the last straw for Centeno.
Could the racism prior to the shooting have caused the outrage last month?