Witness: Gun violence ‘getting worse’ in Lents Park

Crime

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Officers involved in a shooting have been identified, after a man that fled a traffic stop just before 8 p.m. Saturday prompted police to open fire at him, officials said.

On Sunday, KOIN 6 News spoke to people in the Lents neighborhood who said this problem keeps growing.

Amarjit Samara owns a gas station and convenience store a few blocks away from the spot where police engaged in the standoff with a man barricaded in a car Saturday.

“I want safety first for the people and everybody,” Samara said.

Although Samara lost a little business due to police road closures, he said he was not bothered by that. He just wants the neighborhood to be a safer place.

“I just want the safety for everybody. I don’t care, it’s up and down for the business,” Samara said.

The standoff started just before 8 p.m. Saturday when police said they tried to stop a driver in the area of Southeaste 92nd avenue and Southeast Schiller Street, but the man in the car sped away.

After an “intervention technique” was used, police said he crashed at Southeast 88th and Holgate.

At some point during the attempt to stop him, police said Sergeant Norman Staples, an 18 year veteran on the police force, and Officer Kenneth Jackson, a 6 year veteran opened fire.

An hours long standoff ensued and police asked residents to stay inside. After 2 hours of negotiations, the man was taken away by ambulance.

Sgt. Kevin Allen told KOIN 6 News on Saturday the suspect was injured during the shooting. 

“Last night we heard gunfire, which is not uncommon for this area. We hear gunfire just about every night lately,” Taylor, a neighbor who lives nearby said. 

Neighbors KOIN 6 News talked to said aside from this police shooting, there is a lot of regular gunfire in this area in general.

“Police presence would be good, but I think more than that, it’s the people that are packing these guns, carrying guns is glorified now a days,” Taylor said.

Samara also explained “I think it’s getting worse. We need to pay more attention. For the city, the city mayor, the police chief, they need to pay more attention around this area.”

On Sunday, officials said the man is still in police custody and is expected to recover from his injuries. The extent of his injuries is unclear. His name will be released after he is charged.

Neither officer was injured during the incident.

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