PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three Jefferson High School students have been hurt in shootings near the school in one month. We wanted to know what efforts are being done to address the gun violence.
Both recent shootings happened shortly after school got out, the first shooting impacted students walking by the gym, and the latest shooting hit teens who were driving home from class.
The recent shootings outside Jefferson High School have struck a chord.
Jerry Manns lives in North Portland. He lost his son to gun violence last year, and he doesn’t want other parents in Portland to have to bury their children, so his organization Global Movement Network works to prevent gun violence among kids and teens.
“We’re losing as a community,” Manns said. “These kids don’t have anywhere to go and they’re just hanging out in the streets. They don’t have any structure. This is what this leads to. These kids are using drugs, the devil’s working overtime.”
In mid-October two Jefferson High School students were shot after school. One was hit in the leg and another bullet grazed a girl’s hand as they rushed into the gym to get away.
This week a drive-by shooting left a Jefferson High School student injured, after being shot in the shoulder.
“Senseless. I mean, it just blew my mind,” Manns said.
As the surrounding North Portland community is grappling with this gun violence, so are the police.
In the near term, there are more patrols in the area. Officers are working overtime on missions and making themselves visible outside the school.
In the longer term, Manns said people need to come together as a neighborhood to address these shootings.
“We’ve got to look into some of these bigger cities and find out what they’re doing and see what’s working for them,” Manns said. “What they’ve structured as far as programs with kids that are involved with gangs and violence.”
In the meantime, he pleads to parents to get involved in their children’s lives.
“Parents, please get a hold of your kids and start fighting back and teach them the right thing because the wrong thing is not getting us across the finish line,” he said.
Portland Public Schools shared a statement with KOIN, saying:
“It is with frustration and sadness that we confirm that one of our students was struck by gunfire after school was dismissed yesterday. The student suffered a non-life-threatening injury, and an investigation led by the Portland Police Bureau is underway.”
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Portland Police Bureau at 503-823-3333. Refer to case # 304656.
PPS said they’re working closely with the City of Portland, the Portland Police Bureau, and our community partners to put an end to these senseless acts of violence.