PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One person was killed and five others were injured in different shootings across the Portland metro area over the weekend, leading community leaders to call for action.
The first shooting occurred at 2:50 a.m. on Saturday in Gresham, where two people were injured and 26 shell casings were found. The second shooting happened nearly two hours later in Vancouver where three people were injured in a backyard shooting.
The daytime hours were quiet Sunday — but at 10:03 p.m., more gunfire rang out near Northgate Park at Fessenden Street and Geneva Avenue. There, a man was found dead.
“It seems we hear gun shots several times a week. Usually in bursts or in two or three shots at a time and then just quiet,” said Dylan Wansley, who has lived in the neighborhood for the past five years.
The regularity of the gunshots is something Pastor Corey Pritchett says people should never feel is normalized.
“We don’t have to live like this. We believe that we can make a change and some of our community has just given up,” Pritchett said. “They’ve given up on Portland, they’re frustrated.”
Pritchett is a pastor at Worldwide Deliverance. The church has a charity arm called Better Portland, which Pritchett hopes to use to gather community leaders and members to come together for solutions to rising gun violence in the city and surrounding areas.
This weekend, Better Portland plans to have a “Prayer for Peace” at Worldwide Deliverance and is organizing a “Stop the Violence” rally on August 28th at 3 p.m. on Natio Parkway.
“We know that people are hurting, people are angry and something’s got to change,” Prichett said.
There are two things he hopes work — gun regulations and de-escalation.
Pritchett is hopeful for Lift Every Voice’s gun permitting measure that is likely to be on the ballot this fall. For de-escalation, he surmises a call line for people in arguments can help diffuse situations before they lead to violence.
“We can’t let evil win, we can’t let our city go down the drain, we have to believe and we have to do something so we’re hoping this is a call to action for citizens.” he said.