PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A family victimized by gun violence is now in hiding and searching for a safe place to stay after police say they were shot at an east Portland apartment complex Tuesday night.
Still shaken and freshly bandaged, the adult victim, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, says he was babysitting his 11-year-old niece at the Morgan Place Apartments when 36-year-old Rashad Calbert came to the door.
“I heard this pop pop pop pop. I felt my hand and took off running to the living room because my niece was sitting on the bed. And I grabbed her up and went to the kitchen and hid behind the wall where my dad’s toolbox was, because it was all metal, so we wouldn’t get shot. And my niece was crying because she got shot in the belly, in the arm and chest,” the victim said.
He told KOIN 6 News that the Calbert demanded they open the door, and began opening fire when they refused. While Calbert fled before police could arrive, the victim says both he and his niece were treated at a nearby hospital.
“I was trying to call 911, but I couldn’t operate the phone because my hand was completely shattered and bleeding everywhere. So she had to call 911. The bullets sounded like they were going on forever,” he said.
But once out of the hospital, the family told KOIN 6 the situation only got worse. With Calbert still at large, the family says Multnomah County victim services secured a safe place for them to stay, or so they thought, as the hotel refused service, turning them away due to safety concerns.
“Who could do that? There’s an 11-year-old girl that got shot and she needs a safe place to go, and you told us ‘no’,” the victim said.
With an attempted murderer on the loose, who knows where they live, the victim says they are stuck in the same clothes they were shot in and with no place to go.
KOIN 6 reached out to the hotel for answers. As one of several properties partnering with the county’s victim services department, the manager confirmed the family had been referred to stay overnight as confidential guests, but claimed the county failed to notify the hotel about the ongoing safety concerns surrounding the case, stating in part: “We believe everyone, especially the most vulnerable in our community deserve a safe place to stay. However, we are not set up to be a safe house for actively ongoing violent situations, nor is that what the program intends. Our region’s public safety plans could not handle this confluence of circumstances adequately last night and we are devastated to hear it resulted in such a tragedy.”
Denis Theriault, Deputy Communications Director with Multnomah County, released a statement saying: “The crises families endure when experiencing domestic violence can be incredibly complex and fluid. We are committed to helping families find safe shelter and support in the face of those challenges. Even when circumstances arise outside our control, or when a family’s safety continues to be threatened, we keep trying to offer support and help them reach a safe place to find shelter and stay together.”