Portland leaders grapple with rising gun violence

Crime

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Local leaders are speaking out and disagreeing on how to deal with rising gun violence in Portland.

Seven people were shot and one person died on Saturday morning in downtown Portland.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty doesn’t think more officers on the street would help.

“I did hear the mayor say we need more police and more training, but every time there’s a community tragedy, that’s the tagline we use. And even if we had 10 police officers on the corner downtown, what would have turned out different? Nothing,” Hardesty said.

“I could not in good conscious add more officers to a dysfunctional police force. We need to fix what’s broken first,” she said.

On Saturday, Mayor Ted Wheeler said Portland does not have adequate resources to address increasing incidents of gun violence.

“I will fight for additional resources for the police bureau, I will fight for more police officers, and I will fight for more tools and whatever other support the police bureau needs in order to get its job done,” he said.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said it’s too early in the investigation to know whether or not the shooting was gang related.

Lovell said the PPB responded to four “significant shooting incidents” within a 4-hour time frame on Saturday, two of which were homicides. At 2:30 a.m., officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 8000 block of SE Foster Road. Officers think someone may have been injured but were unable to find any victims. At about 6:30 a.m., two shooting calls came in: a man was shot and killed near 113th and NE Sandy Boulevard and a woman was seriously injured in a shooting in the 2100 block of North Willis Street.

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