PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was a deadly weekend in downtown Portland after a string of shootings left two dead and others injured.
So far, none of the suspects are in custody. Detectives are asking anyone with information to come forward.
“Violence comes and goes, particularly in the downtown core,” Portland Police Association President Aaron Schmautz said.
That violence was at the forefront of downtown Portland over the past few days. A man was shot Sunday night at SW 5th and Washington. Portland police say they arrived at the scene and attempted CPR until paramedics got there, but he was taken to an area hospital where he died.
This came after another deadly shooting in Old Town early Saturday, just after midnight. The Central Precinct’s Entertainment Detail were patrolling when they heard gunshots near NW 4th and Everett. At least one man died and two other men were injured.
Asked about this round of violence following a decrease in homicide numbers year-to-year, Schmautz said, “I think it’s easy if you see any downward trend or stabilizing to get excited or maybe we’re going to see less violence this year. But we’re still double what we’ve normally averaged.”
According to the Portland Police Bureau, the city has seen more than 800 shootings so far this year, with at least 48 homicides caused by gunshots.
While the medical examiner hasn’t officially ruled the cause in either deadly shooting this weekend, PPB officials said the number is still down from the 57 Portland saw this same time last year.
“The reality is, there’s a cultural uplift in violence, a cultural access to narcotics and other things,” Schmautz said.
Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office told KOIN 6 News they are incentivizing officers to work overtime to get closer to meeting minimum staffing levels, putting more officers on the street.
“Restaffing the Police Bureau is an absolute priority, as is supporting incoming Chief Bob Day to think creatively about how to deploy resources to maximize impact,” they said in a statement.
Other measures include boosted patrols by Oregon State Police on bike and foot in the central corridor.