Students and staff in the Imbler School District received somber news this week.
The Newberg-Dundee Police Department announced Monday that the name of the victim in a Friday night homicide in Newberg was Jack Burnell, 20, a former Imbler School District student.
Burnell attended school in Imbler from early grade school through at least his sophomore year of high school. He had lived in Newberg for about a year, according to a news release from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department.
Word of Burnell’s passing has hit the Imbler School District hard, said Teressa Dewey, the Imbler School District’s deputy clerk.
“It is pretty somber around here,” Dewey said, noting that many of the district’s teachers and staff remember Burnell.
Imbler High School wrestling coach Doug Hislop said he remembers Burnell’s caring nature.
“He was always very polite and respectful. I never saw him put anyone down,” said Hislop, who served as superintendent of the Imbler School District from 2004 until he retired in 2014.
“I never dealt with any discipline issues (regarding Burnell) at all. He was never in my office,” Hislop said.
Burnell was a member of Imbler High School’s wrestling team as a freshman and a sophomore.
“He had a great work ethic,” Hislop said. “He knew how to work and was a competitor.”
Burnell was joined on the team his sophomore year by his younger brother Aaron. Hislop, who gave the brothers rides home after practices, said the boys always competed to see who would sit in the front seat of the vehicle. They would wrestle after each practice and the first to get a takedown got to sit in the front. Hislop said he suspected that Jack let Aaron win a few times.
During the middle of his sophomore year, Burnell was sidelined by a neck injury, but he stayed connected to the wrestling team by serving as its manger. He didn’t return to wrestling after his sophomore season.
Hislop said Burnell later attended Chemeketa Community College in Salem and that he last saw the young man about a year ago.
“He told me that he wanted to become a counselor or a minister,” Hislop sad.
Burnell died in a shooting in the area of Main and East Second streets in Newberg, which was reported at 11:41 p.m. Friday. Burnell was deceased when police officers arrived, according the Newberg-Dundee Police Department news release.
See complete story in Wednesday's Observer