PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With three full months left in 2021, the Portland Police Bureau said they’ve seized 900 guns this year, already passing the number seized during all of 2020.
That number includes 11 guns seized in a two-day period this week, PPB said. That timeframe overlaps a 16-hour period during which four people were shot in seven shootings. One person died.
PPB listed the shootings chronologically:
- September 29, 4:35p.m.: One man seriously wounded around NE Jessup and MLK Jr. Boulevard
- September 29, 7:52 p.m.: Gunfire exchanged between vehicles at SE 74th and Harold. One of the vehicles crashed, and investigators set up 3 different crime scenes
- September 29, 9:37 p.m.: Fatal shooting around NE 60th and Davis. It’s the 65th homicide of the year
- September 30, 12:20 a.m.: Gunfire around SE 79th and Franklin. One vehicle was hit, no injuries reported
- September 30, 12:23 a.m.: Bullets flew in the 11500 block of Northeast Yacht Harbor Drive. One man was wounded and an apartment building was hit multiple times
- September 30, 2:38 a.m.: One man seriously wounded around SE 1127th and E. Burnside. Multiple bullet casings were found
- September 30, 8:30 a.m.: Shots fired around Dawson Park between people in 2 vehicles. No injuries were reported.
By the last day of September, Portland had logged 943 shootings in 2021, 304 people had been shot and 49 people had died as a result of those shootings.
“Bullets don’t just disappear after they’re shot. They don’t just go away into the ether. They hit something — sometimes it’s people, sometimes it’s cars and buildings,” said Lt. Nathan Sheppard.
Sheppard said it’s easy to look at these numbers only as statistics but he said behind every number is a life that has been impacted or taken away.
“Seeing what’s going on is heartbreaking for me. It’s a tragic change from what Portland used to be,” he said. “As an officer, I’m frustrated and as a father, I’m sometimes terrified.”
Sheppard said the bureau is working hard to get guns off the streets even without the support of resources that would allow them to take a more proactive approach.
“Every single time, every chance we get to remove that possible bullet flying through the air, going into somebody’s home, I think is a win for the city,” he said, adding that every firearm that is seized is tested by the bureau’s Enhanced Community Safety Team. Sheppard said that testing has found “that guns aren’t used just once.”