PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Carrie Saum with the Old Town Community Association works to bring new businesses to Old Town. At this time, her job is not easy.
Another shooting took place in the neighborhood Saturday afternoon, leaving a 14-year-old wounded and rushed to the hospital for treatment. The shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. at Northwest 6th and Broadway.
Since January 2021 through February 2022, there were about 45 shootings reported in Old Town. So far this year, 2 people were slain in Old Town, one of which was a shooting.
Saum said she’s thankful for the officers that respond to these calls and who investigate, but she said there is not enough officers — and doesn’t seem to be enough concern from city leaders.
“Violent crime and gun violence, especially in Old Town, are out of control,” Saum told KOIN 6 News. “There is a genuine sense of lawlessness in our city.”
She meets regularly with city leaders in virtual meetings. She believes if city leaders went back to work in their downtown offices at City Hall they, too, might understand the burden of working in a part of town where violent crime is on the rise and might just act faster or more efficiently to find solutions.
“I will say this all day, every day, like we’re never going to make a turn unless our leaders show up to lead,” she said. “And the reason why there is so much violence, the reason why there’s so much crime is because nobody is minding the store.”
Saum said when it comes to big events that put Portland on the national stage — sucha as the NCAA Men’s College Basketball tournament held at Moda Center 3 weeks ago — the city does what’s necessary to put on a good face.
“What I can tell you is things got better for about two weeks in March during March Madness where the city came in and kept house for exactly two weeks. And then it all went back,” she said. “There was an increased law enforcement presence. Portland Police Bureau was pulling people over who had no tags on their cars and really taking more of an active role in the neighborhood and treating it more like a beat.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to every city commissioner’s office for a statement about the latest shooting in Old Town. But at this time none of them have responded.
The shooter remains at large and the case is now being investigated by the Enhanced Community Safety Team.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police through email: firstname.lastname@example.org The case number is 22-87727.