Mother of Slain Antifascist Sean Kealiher Asks That No One Speak with Media

Her son, 23-year old Sean Kealiher, was killed early Saturday morning by an SUV. He was an active and outspoken antifascist.

Laura Kealiher speaks to media on Oct. 15, 2019. (Wesley Lapointe)

The mother of slain antifascist activist Sean Kealiher read a statement today on the sidewalk where her son died early Saturday morning.

Kealiher, 23, was run over by an SUV near the antifascist nightspot Cider Riot, and died from blunt force trauma.

The scene today was grim. Laura Kealiher stood at a podium in front of the graffiti-covered headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, with sunflowers and roses, some crushed, scattered on the ground around her feet. Yellow caution tape separated the sidewalk from the road.

"I am requesting that no one give statements to the media or make public statements regarding my son's death," Kealiher said. "They just fuel the rumor mill which everyone close to Sean has had to suffer through."

The driver of the SUV crashed into the DPO building after hitting Kealiher. Someone fired gunshots into the SUV, police said, and the driver fled the scene. No arrests have been made.

In her brief comments, Laura Kealiher also asked that anyone who wants to add graffiti to the DPO building "please refrain."

The graffiti of antifascist symbols and written messages that were drawn on the office exterior during a memorial held for Kealiher on Sunday remained. Messages like "You will be missed," "Keep loving and keep fighting" and "Armenio lives," a reference to his nickname, were scrawled in black spray paint on the wall.

Brad Martin, the executive director of the DPO, said at the press gathering that the DPO reached out to Laura Kealiher this morning through intermediaries. Martin added that the graffiti would likely be cleaned up sometime starting this week, but might be done "in phases."

Kealiher's family will hold a memorial potluck for him Oct. 26 at Chapman Square at noon.

The Portland Police Bureau investigation into Kealiher's death is continuing. A PPB spokesman said this morning the bureau cannot yet release any details.

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