PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Grim numbers tell the story of a city overwhelmed by violence as Portland homicide numbers continued to skyrocket in 2022.

According to data from the mayor’s office, there were roughly four times more homicides in 2022 than the city’s 20-year average, with 96 homicides — a significantly higher number than other west coast cities.

Police tell KOIN 6 News there were about 1,300 shootings in Portland in 2022, all while PPB is attempting to rebuild after losing many officers — the shootings injured nearly 400 people.

“We’ve had another incredibly violent year in the city,” said Sgt. Kevin Allen.

The 96 homicides, 78 of which came from gunfire, set a record for a second straight year. There were 90 homicides in Portland in 2021.

Allen says Portland still has a gang problem, but also says there’s another emerging trend driving an increase in homicides.

“This is the first year we gathered data on the houseless community,” Allen said. “Thirty-four percent (of homicides) involved houseless individuals.”

He says PPB’s strategy now is to get illegally owned guns off the street and arrest repeat shooters.

Officers have been stretched thin the last few years, dealing with increases in violent crime, while their numbers dwindle. Allen said that the bureau hit “rock bottom” in 2021 when it came to staffing.

“We got to the lowest number we were at in decades,” he said.

While PPB says they’re heartened by many recent new hires, their impact won’t be immediate.

“It’s gratifying to see the hiring numbers outpaces the number we’re losing,” Allen said. “(But) it’s a slow process, hiring and training officers.”