PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland police say a shooting in East Portland has resulted in a TriMet bus driver being struck and injured while behind the wheel.
The driver was transported to an area hospital and the intersection at Ne 102nd and Halsey has been closed.
The Portland Police Bureau’s Enhanced Community Safety Team have cleared the scene in the area.
When KOIN 6 News arrived at the scene Saturday evening, a TriMet bus could be seen with a bullet hole through the windshield.
Police said in a statement that an East Precinct police officer was in the vicinity on another call when he heard gunfire near Ne 102nd and Halsey at 7:01 p.m.
She and other officers responded and discovered that a TriMet bus driver was shot while behind the wheel of the bus.
Police said they don’t believe the driver was the intended target of the shooting.
The driver was described as being an adult male that was seriously injured, but conscious and talking to officers. He had an apparent gunshot wound to the shoulder and was transported to a hospital.
In addition, Lt. Kenneth Duilio of Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct said the driver appeared to have an injury to his eye, possibly from shrapnel from the glass of the windshield through which the bullet passed.
“He is at the hospital now there is concern about his vision and possibly losing his eye, but the injury to his shoulder, or clavicle, should be survivable,” Duilio said.
There were passengers on the bus, but no reports of injuries.
A witness who wanted to remain anonymous for safety reasons had this to say about the shooting:
“We was coming out of Apple Bees onto Halsey. The suspect was right behind me when the shooting went down All I know it was a black SUV and they were shooting and like I said he was hanging out of the car shooting.”
Duilio said there were around 25 passengers on the bus, but none were injured. The single bullet hole in the windshield of the bus showed just how close it came to the driver’s head.
Duilio said the shooting happened several blocks east of Ne 102nd, but the bullet traveled straight down Ne Halsey into the windshield.
The shooting is just one more incident in what is shaping up to be a record year for gun violence.
A witness to the shooting, who wanted to remain anonymous, commented: “We need to stop all this gang banging. We need to stop this. We all need to come together as one and stop all this. I did have grandkids in the car, so I was not happy about that.”
“There was a dramatic increase last summer and just from the numbers this year, we are on pace to set records in the number of shootings overall, the number of people hit by gunfire and the number of people killed by gunfire. When I say overall, that would be all-time in the history of Portland. We are on pace to unfortunately break those records,” Duilio said.
The lieutenant went on to say that there is some suspect information on the people involved, but investigators couldn’t confirm any of of the witness statements that KOIN 6 News gathered as it’s early on in the investigation.
Police were addressing the media in the parking lot of Carl’s Jr. in the Gateway shopping district near 102nd and Halsey Saturday evening.
Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to reference case #21-138251 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip to the Crime Stoppers of Oregon website or “P3 Tips” phone app for cash rewards up to $2,500.
The development comes after another TriMet bus driver, Breauna White, was shot and killed in an apartment in Portland’s Cathedral Park neighborhood on May 5. The suspect in that case, Henry Brogdan, was apprehended and jailed Friday in Texas.