Colby Robinson, the Texas man wanted in connection with a triple shooting that left two dead and another critically wounded in their Southeast Portland home, had been traveling to Portland to buy medical marijuana for months before the shootings, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.

He was introduced to the victims, who ran a large medical marijuana grow operation in Southeast Portland, through a friend, police learned during their investigation.

Multnomah County prosecutors had obtained an indictment and warrant for Robinson’s arrest on April 14.  That night, he was shot and killed by police in DeSoto, Texas as they attempted to take him into custody. The indictment accused the 26-year-old of two counts of aggravated murder with a firearm.

Robinson was wanted in the April 10 fatal shootings of Dat “Gary” Pham, 33, and Sun-Lent “Susie” Chang, 41, and the critical wounding of Chang’s husband and Dat’s brother, Andrew Pham, 35. Andrew Pham was shot four times, twice in the head, once to the stomach and arm.

Robinson used a .45-caliber handgun in the shootings, according to the indictment.

Sgt. Rich Braskett, the first to respond to the shooting call at 9:54 p.m. on April 10, found the three victims lying on the living room floor of their second-floor apartment on Southeast Division Street. All were shot in the head, according to court records.

An initial investigation found that the Pham brothers were involved in a medical marijuana business, and a building immediately adjacent to their home contained a large medical marijuana grow operation, according to Det. Jim Lawrence. The building was owned by the brothers’ father, the affidavit said.

Robinson arrived at the Southeast Division Street apartment at the same time another patient was allowed in through the fenced entry gate.

A lawyer for the Phams’ said Robinson had been hounding the Pham brothers to buy medical marijuana from them, but that they didn’t want to engage with him because he wasn’t a patient.

Yet a local business associate of the Pham brothers interviewed by detectives said Robinson had purchased about 35 pounds from Andrew Pham in the prior three to five months, the affidavit said.

The associate said Robinson had called him, eager to buy about four pounds from Andrew Pham on April 10, but the associate told Robinson that he didn’t know if Andrew Pham had that much available.

About 9 p.m. on April 10, Andrew Pham called his business associate and asked why Robinson was suddenly at his Southeast Division home.

Another woman who had come to Oregon from Texas told Portland investigators that Robinson traveled to Portland starting in October 2014 to buy medical marijuana, and she introduced Robinson to a business associate of the Pham brothers. When Robinson came to town, he’d stay at her apartment in Northeast Portland, the affidavit said. She told police that Robinson was her best friend’s half brother.

Ryan Corbridge, the attorney for the Pham family who had helped connect key witnesses to police to help them identify the suspect, said Tuesday he had no information about prior marijuana sales between Andrew Pham and Robinson.

“I’m just glad they ended up resolving the case so quickly,” he said.

Pham remains hospitalized but “is doing as well as can be expected,” Corbridge said. The family is relieved he has his “mental faculties,” though he’s likely to be permanently blinded, Corbridge said.

–Maxine Bernstein
503-221-8212; @maxoregonian

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