Homeless hit hard: 'Somebody's going to kill us!'

Homeless hit hard: 'Somebody's going to kill us!'

EUGENE, Ore. -- The homeless man killed in broad daylight in a city park Tuesday evening was the third homeless man killed in 2009 in what police consider a homicide.

Police identified Tuesday's victim as James David Pelfrey, 36 (pictured at right). Police are calling his death a homicide.

In addition to Pelfrey, two other homeless men have died this year in what police consider homicides. That means of the seven homicide deaths in Eugene in 2009, all three of the victims have been homeless men.

An earlier version of this story indicated police had investigated three homicides in 2009 and that all three victims were homeless men.

A fourth incident -- the January drunk-driving crash that killed four people -- was also a homicide.

The attacks in 2009 have put the homeless in Eugene on edge.

"Somebody's going to kill us!" said Michelle Hindman, Pelfrey's girlfriend. "I mean you see what happens. And we're just trying to survive."

Flowers now sit on the sidewalk where a friend found Pelfrey bleeding to death Tuesday. Medics arrived around 5 p.m.; by 5:15 p.m., they declared him dead.

Some people have been paying their respects by pouring alcohol on the spot where Pelfrey was stabbed.

Hindman said homeless people she knows have been sticking together in groups since Pelfrey was killed. She said people fear whoever killed Pelfrey might come back.

Some of the homeless people who spoke to KVAL News called themselves "one big family" and said police better catch the suspect before they do or "it won't be pretty"

The other incidents involving homeless men that police called homicides in 2009 were:

  • The body of Herbert T. Bishop, also known as Pac-Man (pictured, far right), was found May 11 in Skinner Butte Park near the Rose Garden. Two Eugene men -- Michael Andrew Baughman and Ryan Eugene Casch, both 22 (pictured, near right) -- face murder charges in Bishop's death.
     
  • Gerald Francis Wudarski, 52, died from injuries sustained in June after he got in a fight with a duplex resident while looking for cans, according to police. A grand jury indicted Cory Wayne Freeman, 28, of Eugene (at right) on charges of Manslaughter 2 and Assault 2 in Wudarski's death.