PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Rose City has seen an unprecedented spike in violence in 2020 — and the year isn’t up yet.
Portland had logged about 900 shootings, compared to 393 shootings in all of 2019. On Monday, Portland police identified 33-year-old Jaron Weeks as the city’s 53rd homicide victim this year — the highest number of homicides in Portland since a wave of gang violence in the early 1990s.
Weeks was killed Christmas morning in an apartment building in the Lloyd District. A second shooting victim at the scene was hospitalized.
Two people were hospitalized in multiple shootings across Portland on Saturday night, police said. A truck rammed a patrol car, putting a Portland police officer in the hospital with a broken pelvis.The driver of the truck has not been found.
It’s not just gun violence that has rocked the city. Trendlon Brewer, 53, was arrested last week for a series of random attacks on people with a baseball bat.
Violent behavior has spread much like the COVID-19 virus in 2020, creating unprecedented challenges for officers tasked with keeping the peace.
“They know we are busy, so people are more emboldened to carry firearms and use them against each other and not only one or two shots, but multiple,” said Derek Carman with the Portland Police Bureau. “There have been thousands of shots fired in the city this year and it’s unfortunate for the community.”
The PPB also faces a wave of retirements and resignations. Since the protests and riots started in June, 74 officers have left the bureau and another 25-32 are expected to leave by the end of January.