PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The first weekend of 2021 picked right up where 2020 left off — with a spate of shootings that had police investigating throughout the Portland metro.
In Gresham, 4 people were shot at a house party Saturday night. In Portland, one person was shot, 7 vehicles and 2 apartments were hit in a shooting where police found more than 50 shells casings.
Neighbors told KOIN 6 News they saw the shooting in the apartment parking lot. One woman who has lived nearby for 16 years said she feels like shootings and violence have increased recently.
“It does bother me how the neighborhood has become, with crime going on all the time. Makes you want to just hover, stay in,” neighbor Debbie Anderson said. “It scares me. Plus, I know people with younger children who live in the area. And I don’t think it’s fair to have to worry about letting their kids out in front of the house because they don’t know what’s going on.”
Portland Police Bureau officials said this overall increase is due to a variety of factors.
“The shootings have increased because you have more people willing to carry guns, willing to shoot multiple rounds off, and who are trying to kill other human beings. The events of the summer play into that: COVID, people not working, kids not physically in school, nightly protests, and a leaner police bureau. However, it takes one shooting between people affected by gang violence to have a ripple effect that triggers many additional shootings,” PPB Public Information Officer Derek Carmon said.
“Your question is a question for the community; why is there so much anger in the community that people feel the need to shoot other people? This violence is disproportionately targeting our communities of color and the PPB needs their input on coming together to solve it. This cannot be just a PPB plan, it needs to be a community driven plan with suggestions from experts in policing.”