PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — So far in 2022, Portland has recorded 49 homicides, 45 of them by gunfire, the latest PPB statistics show.
Over this past weekend in Portland, 4 people died in 3 shootings. Across the river in Vancouver, 2 people were gunned down and 2 others wounded at a house party in what police there say was not a random shooting.
This comes on the heels of a report released Saturday by Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office that shows a 241% increase in shootings in the city over a 3-year period. The report also showed there were 88 gunfire homicides in 2021, significantly more than the 20-year average of 28 homicides per year.
“We’ve been seeing this ebb and flow of violent crime the last couple years,” PPA President Aaron Schmautz told KOIN 6 News. “Gang violence is not the only reason. But we’ve heard several people say there’s not a gang violence problem in Portland — and that’s simply not true.”
Schmautz said the increased homeless population is also a factor.
He noted that 70% of victims and suspects have prior involvement in the criminal justice system and 58% have felony convictions.
And he noted a real factor in the increase in violent crime is connected to having not enough police in the bureau.
“When people think they’re not going to be stopped by the police, they’re more likely to carry a gun,” Schmautz said.
The short term solution, he said, is to increase PPB staffing. “That won’t be solved overnight,” he said.