PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Citing intelligence that there are “imminent” efforts from outside groups to “engage and advance gun violence” this weekend, the Portland City Council announced police and the FBI will be on the streets of the city for the next few days.
The statement from Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Mingus Mapps, Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan said the city learned “three alarming things” that led to this decision:
- Groups involved in this violence have issued an order to shoot someone in the next 30 days or be shot for not showing loyalty.
- Individuals and groups are here in Portland from Washington and California to engage in and advance gun violence.
- These actions begin a retaliatory cycle that only escalates. The current trajectory of the rising violence is unacceptable, and it requires immediate action.
The City Council noted the 7 people that were shot at a vigil recently in Gresham.
“There are several vigils and funerals planned in Portland in the coming days and these vigils are credible targets for further violence,” the City Council said. “Our goal is to deescalate and lower the tensions in the community that are fueling this crisis.”
In a statement, the FBI said they will be on the streets with members of the Metro Safe Streets Task Force responding to shootings.
“It will be a very visible effort with two goals in mind. First, the task force wants to show the community that it is working to bring peace to the streets. Second, the task force wants shooters to know that law enforcement is working assertively to find them and arrest them,” the FBI said.
Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey said they know there are groups retaliating against other groups “for perceived grievances. We also know that the number of bullets being fired – often dozens at any given scene – keep going until they hit something or someone. There are random, innocent victims who did nothing more than be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Officials said so far this year in Portland there have been 31 homicides, 23 of which involved gunfire. At this point last year, there were 4 homicides.
KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.