PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As officers across Portland and Vancouver spent much of the weekend responding to a string of deadly shootings, some residents are asking what can be done to stop further gun violence.
Since Friday, at least 4 people were killed in shootings around Portland and another 2 were killed in the early hours of Sunday in Vancouver. With each neighborhood that violence impacts, residents say they’re fed-up and ready for something to be done about it.
It’s all part of a disturbing trend police are noticing.
“The warm weather months tend to cause an increase in violent crime,” PPB Sgt. Kevin Allen told KOIN 6 News just days ago. “There are a lot of reasons for that, but it’s a pretty clear pattern.”
That pattern appeared this weekend.
Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to SW 3rd and Burnside after a reported shooting in a parking lot behind businesses, just feet away from the ‘Keep Portland Weird’ sign. A man who was injured in the shooting showed up at a local hospital for treatment.
While responding, officers heard another shooting just a few blocks away, but there have been no reported injuries. Less than 40 minutes after the first shooting, PPB was also called to a neighborhood near SE 26th and Belmont.
“I woke about 2:50 a.m. when I heard about 6-8 gunshots which doesn’t happen very often,” said neighbor Marc Rodriguez. “It disturbed a pretty quiet neighborhood.”
One man was dead at the scene and a woman who was seriously wounded later died at the hospital.
Rodriguez said he and others feel city and county leadership are not doing enough to stem violence.
“A bunch of us were out this morning at the location at the corner here where it was all taped off and we were just wondering when this is going to end and when our city elected officials and when our county attorney is going to start doing something,” he said. “People who never felt unsafe are starting to feel unsafe.”
Officers were also kept busy in Washington after a crowded house party in Vancouver’s Harney Heights neighborhood around 1:20 a.m. left 4 people shot. One died at the scene and another died at the hospital, while two others have serious injuries.
A neighbor told KOIN 6 News she recently moved to Vancouver to get away from the Portland gun violence.
“I just moved to Vancouver to get out of the way of gunfire and because there were gunshots outside my bedroom window in north Portland, and now today, this morning, there were gunshots again,” said the woman who wished to remain anonymous.
“I am so concerned and I don’t know what can be done about it, but it’s the state of humanity right now. We’re at a tipping point and people are just losing it.”
Investigators say they don’t believe the Vancouver shooting was random,
At this time, no apparent arrests have been made in Vancouver or Portland’s most recent shootings.
This weekend, KOIN 6 News reached out to Mayor Wheeler’s office to see what’s being done about the escalating gun violence, but he was unavailable for an interview. However, his office said an emergency declaration is set to be announced this week, focusing on the violence.
PPB’s official homicide count was 42 as of July 7, but since then, KOIN 6 has documented at least six others. Out of the total calculated so far, at least 45 resulted from shootings.
The Vancouver neighbor said she checked local news radio for details about the incident.
“And there were so many gun fatalities in Portland over the weekend that they didn’t even get to Vancouver. And that’s just mind boggling,” she told KOIN 6 News. “That’s one of the saddest parts, is that I wasn’t scared. I’ve just become so used to gunfire that when it happens here in Vancouver I think, ‘Oh gosh, more gun shots.’ Then just listening to see if there is a fatality, listening to people’s comments as they come streaming out onto the road. And that really makes me very sad. I’m just becoming numb to it. Again, it’s a sign of what’s happening in our society.”