PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two more weekend homicides brought the number of people killed in Portland since the start of the year to 19, a pace that would smash the all-time homicide record for the Rose City set in 2021. Seventeen of those are from gunfire.

One man was found shot to death in a NE Portland parking garage near the Oregon Convention Center, February 26, 2022 (KOIN)

One person was found shot to death in a parking garage not far from the Oregon Convention Center. The shooting was reported around 7:10 p.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of NE 2nd Avenue. Responding officers found the man already dead. No suspects have yet been identified.

The shooting happened as hundreds of people were attending the Portland Auto Show at the convention center.

Hours later, another man died from gunshot wounds he suffered in a parking lot in the Parkrose neighborhood.

Shots were reported around 4:45 a.m. near the corner of NE 103rd and Sandy, in the parking lot of a an apartment complex, PPB said.

When officers arrived, they found a man who was hurt and brought him to paramedics. The unnamed man was taken to the hospital but later died from his injuries. A suspect remained at the scene in Parkrose, police said.

In a conversation on Eye on Northwest Politics, PPA President Aaron Schmautz told KOIN 6 News the focus needs to be on solutions to the escalation of gun violence.

“I’m glad to see that the full body of the local government is being brought to bear. We have a lot of work to do and we need to be focused on how we can get things done. I think more than focusing on the last two years at this point,” Schmautz said.

PPA President Aaron Schmautz, February 27, 2022 (KOIN)

He said he believes Portland is in a better place now to deal with this crisis moreso than 2 years ago.

“The biggest thing is that it takes stamina to solve these problems. It takes not being reactionary and not kind of changing course if something happens that might distract us from our end goals,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we are able to continue this conversation moving in the right direction. And I encourage everyone in the community to have the stamina to see us through the problems that we’re facing.”

Schmautz, whose father was a police officer, said this is “the most difficult time that I can remember in law enforcement.” Portland, he said, is at an inflection point.

“It is going to take our officers, need the tools and the support to go and do the job they need to do. That will include patrol work, interdiction work, stopping and interacting with people and finding ways to investigate and ultimately taking people into custody when they’re engaged in violent acts and then having them prosecuted and have that coursing all the way through.”

In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Commissioner Mingus Mapps said:

“The homicide rate is concerning in every way and is an absolute emergency. It is already having an impact on our economic recovery, including tourism. Frankly, the general state of our city isn’t compatible with tourism, and that is a significant challenge. I am grateful to the Portland Police, who are working hard to respond to historic violence while also employing prevention strategies.”