PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping Portland police investigate shootings with a partnership they established last year called the Safe Streets Task Force.
FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Kieran Ramsey, who was at Tuesday’s press conference about the multiple shootings from over the weekend, went more in-depth about the issues this task force is facing in a one-on-one with KOIN 6 News.
Ramsay explained that a significant percentage of these deadly shootings are gang violence. He also said a significant amount are tied to the homeless population.
He said their goal right now is to identify what he calls the “worst of the worst” of these hardened criminals who have access to weapons and are using them almost “indiscriminately.”
As part of trying to get these shooters off the street, the FBI is now offering rewards for seven cases, including a mass shooting that killed an 18-year-old over the summer.
As of Jan. 31, you may have seen their ads on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Ramsey told KOIN 6 that stopping these shootings is tough, and they have a big job ahead of them.
“Things like we saw over the weekend. A huge number of shootings. Mass shootings. Where, multiple injuries, multiple homicides. That bothers me all the time. I think, again, the fact that if we continue to see this pace, this year will break last year’s records,” Ramsey said.
The FBI is working with PPB and other agencies to try to offer financial, investigative and technical resources.
“We went to them to see if we could help them in some way. I don’t have the staff to backfill for them, nor I don’t have the jurisdiction. But certainly, we have a fantastic collaborative partnership,” Ramsey said.
In total, they’re offering rewards for seven cases, each ranging from $15,000 to $25,000. Despite their efforts though, Ramsey said no money has been given out yet.
“We continue to hear concerns about retaliation and retribution from the community,” Ramsey said.
He said if you do have concerns, contact them, and they’ll work with you to keep you safe.
“We want to take that extremely seriously. We want to protect their identity,” Ramsey explained
They need people to come forward to get justice for people gunned down and to prevent more people from dying.
“The amount of shootings on these streets is ridiculous. And when I hear equivalency arguments of ‘well this is not uncommon, the rest of the country is seeing this.’ If you want to equate the rest of the violence anywhere else to Portland, then we’ve already lost. Portland is supposed to be different. It’s not supposed to be this way,” Ramsey said.
If you have information on any of these cases, contact the FBI at 1 (800) CALL-FBI or at tips.fbi.gov.