Bystander took bullet recording financier killing family man in road rage murder: police

Samuel Gomez saw one man bleeding on the ground and another in a car with a gun in hand as he walked out of a downtown Portland, Oregon, hotel. 

Gomez pulled out his phone to record the suspect, who pointed the gun out the driver-side window and shot Gomez in the leg as he “slowly drove away,” according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Fox News Digital.

The bullet lodged in his femur, and Gomez dropped to the ground. 

The suspect, controversial businessman Geoffrey Hammond, 46, allegedly fired another shot at Gomez but missed as he was “lying on the sidewalk writhing in pain,” the affidavit says. 

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Gomez captured a lasting image of Hammond pointing the gun directly at him. 

The first victim, Ryan Martin, a 47-year-old father of four, was dying about 15 feet away from Gomez, begging Hammond for his life, the affidavit alleges.

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“I’m sorry. I had a bad day,” Martin pleaded with Hammond, whose gun jammed, stopping him from firing a second shot at Martin, according to the affidavit.

Martin was pronounced dead at the site of the shooting. His oldest son, Taylor, 27, said in an online post that “this tragic loss” robbed him and his siblings of “an amazing father, friend and community member.”

He wrote a tribute letter to his dad on Facebook that started with, “Dad – Words can’t express the pain I’m in hearing the news of your passing.

“You were an amazing man and father, the most intelligent and hard working (man) I ever knew. You are my best friend and will always be in my heart. 

“Your legacy will be carried through me in everything I do. You were taken from me to soon. And I won’t forget the pain that man put me through today. I love you dad.

“Rest in paradise – Ryan Earl Martin 03/10/1976 – 10/12/2023.”

GoFundMe and social media posts have offered the only public statements from Martin’s family members, who are asking for privacy as they grieve. 

The fatal fight unfolded in a matter of minutes, according to police

Around 4:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Hammond sat in his black Mercedes, which sat idle with the engine on and partially blocking traffic, according to the affidavit.

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Martin and Hammond exchanged middle fingers in the heat of the moment as Martin navigated his Toyota Tundra around Hammond’s car, the affidavit says. 

Martin crossed the intersection, left his truck and tapped on Hammond’s window.

“It is unclear what, if anything, Ryan Martin said while tapping on the window, but witnesses described shouting,” the affidavit says.

“(Hammond) rolled down the window and immediately shot Ryan Martin in the chest. Ryan Martin fell to the ground and landed on his back in the gutter.”

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His gun jammed as Martin pleaded with the shooter. “I’m sorry. I had a bad day,” Martin yelled, according to the affidavit. 

As Hammond fixed his gun, he allegedly told Martin, “You are lucky I didn’t shoot you in the head,” the affidavit says.

That’s when Gomez walked out of the Moxy Hotel, where he presented at a conference of the National Organization of Minority Architects and recorded what he could.

Gomez “managed to record the act in a disturbing photograph on his cell phone,” the affidavit says.

The wild incident took another unexpected turn when Hammond, believing he was justified in shooting Martin and Gomez, called 911 himself and drove to the courthouse.

“On a recorded call, he (Hammond) freely admits to shooting both men,” the affidavit says. 

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“He states that he believed he was justified in doing so because Ryan Martin menaced him and because Sam Gomez might have had a weapon.”

He later told detectives during the interview he believed Gomez “may have been planning an ambush which he recognized as a military tactic,” according to the affidavit.

Hammond’s lawyer, Joseph Westover, did not return Fox News Digital’s call or emails for comment. 

During the interview with police, Hammond allegedly told investigators he saw Martin was unarmed and “admitted that he had planned on shooting Ryan Martin a second time,” but the gun malfunctioned, according to the affidavit. 

He told officers that he believed “groups of people (were) stalking him and showed little to no remorse for his actions,” the affidavit says.

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Law enforcement continued the investigation by interviewing “numerous witnesses” and combing through security footage. 

“Not a single witness described seeing or hearing anything that would have justified the shooting,” the affidavit says.

“Detectives were unable to find any video footage that would have remotely justified the use of deadly force.”

Hammond was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder with a firearm, first-degree assault with a firearm and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon. 

He pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

Hammond, 46, is a financier and cryptocurrency investment business owner who has two companies registered in Portland under his name – Aequantium LLC and Aequantium Research LLC, according to records from Oregon’s Department of State. 

In May 2023, Hammond filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a report by KGW8.

He had about $34,000 in credit card debt and was out of a job after his company closed, the local news outlet reported, based on court records. 

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He owns an $890,000 home in Portland’s West Hills, a 2020 Mercedes SUV and four weapons, according to court documents

He changed his name from Jeffrey Edward Mandalis for an unknown reason. 

Mandalis has a criminal history in Illinois that includes charges of assault, vandalism and domestic battery, KGW8 reported. 

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Portland Police ask anyone with information about this case, who has not already talked to police, to contact Det. Ryan Foote at ryan.foote@police.portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0781, or Det. Travis Law at travis.law@police.portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0395. 

Police said to reference case number 23-267039.

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https://www.foxnews.com/us/bystander-took-bullet-recording-financier-kill-family-man-road-rage-murder-police