Dad runs toward NE Portland gunfire to save kids

Crime

Shooting in broad daylight happened Saturday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was a quiet afternoon in Adam Johnson’s Northeast Portland neighborhood Saturday afternoon. It was around 3:30 p.m. when his 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter were riding bikes and a scooter around their house while he was in the front yard.

That’s when he heard a red vehicle speed down the street and stop at the stop sign. A man got out of the car and began yelling at the people in the white car behind him.

He scooped up his daughter and hid her behind his neighbor’s fence right before gun shots rang out. Johnson knew his son went around the corner on his scooter. Even as the shooters were outside their cars, he ran to find his son.

“I felt like I was moving in slow motion because it’s unnatural to run towards someone shooting a gun — with a gun pointed in your direction,” he told KOIN 6 News. When he found his son in their garage “he just wanted to know what the bad guys were doing.”

The scene was caught on home surveillance video. Johnson said there were 2 things not caught on camera, though — a third car behind the white car and “2 small children in the back of the white car, which was also disturbing.”

Home surveillance video shows a man (circled) run up to a parked car and then gets into the white car during a shooting, Saturday, September 4, 2021 (Courtesy to KOIN)

A mail carrier on his route called 911, he said. A neighbor’s car and tire were shot. But because no one was hurt, he said, police didn’t show up for at least 30 minutes.

“I do feel like there’s a collective effort to underperform right now from our police department in an effort to increase public support,” he said.

But he doesn’t think a police officer could have stopped the shooting from happening.

“If a police officer was standing here — which would be happenstance — I don’t think they could have done anything.”

He and his wife feel it’s important to share this video with the message of addressing gun violence at its core. However, he also worries about becoming a target since he’s speaking up about this gunfire.

“If we don’t speak up, then this continues to move into our neighborhood,” he said. “I feel like there’s a lot of inaction at city council and at the mayor’s office, that there’s a fear of upsetting too any people. It’s aggravating to me that nothing is happening.”

What he wants is for elected leaders to see this video and do more to stop the gun violence on Portland’s streets — including this broad daylight shooting in a neighborhood.

“I don’t lose my breath very often,” he said. “I don’t get rattled, and that was something, not knowing where my child was at and was right next to a shooting,” Johnson said.

They’re sharing the video because they believe running away is not going to help. Being quiet won’t help. Complaining to each other won’t help.

But the Johnsons are not leaving their neighborhood, either.

“One of the comments on NextDoor, said: ‘Thanks for sharing. This just ticks another box in moving out of here.’ I responded: ‘I’m staying. This is my community and I’m going to continue to invest in it. And I hope that you do, too,” he said.

KOIN 6 News has not yet heard back from Portland police or Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office about this incident.

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