PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Amid a surge in shootings on the streets of Portland, a group held a press conference Wednesday to highlight its upcoming rally encouraging an end to the violence.
Just this week, there have been several shootings in Portland, including one mass shooting downtown and a homicide.
Through the Better Portland campaign, the World Wide Deliverance Church is hosting a ‘Stop the Violence’ rally at 10 a.m. Thursday at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
“We’re here to make a difference,” Pastor Corey Pritchett said. “We’re concerned about violence in the community.”
Royal Harris, a community organizer, said the intent is to make a statement that the group is against the taking of a life for any unjust reason.
“The sad part is, as often as we congregate, it’s generally preceded by another group of deaths,” Harris said. “Even with myself, I’ve lost young people who were family members. I have family members who are grieving because of these losses.”
“As an Oregonian, I don’t want this level of violence to be framed racially because right now every group of Portlanders is being impacted by gun violence,” he added.
Organizers said this is the first step to promoting anti-violence in the community and finding solutions.
Portland Police say so far in 2021, there have been 803 non-suicide attempt shootings. 218 of those involved at least one injury. 263 people have suffered gunshot injuries, and there have been 61 homicides.