PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — City leaders are letting questions about recent gun violence wait, even after four people were killed over the weekend.

On Saturday, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office released a detailed report that showed gun violence increasing over 200 percent in Portland from 2019-2021.

On June 28, the mayor’s office announced his “Safer Summer PDX” to address a “historical” rise in gun violence in the summer months.

City leaders have not been available for interviews or questions since any of these major items have occurred, instead pointing to a press conference that has yet to be announced or scheduled.

The mayor’s communication lead, Cody Bowman, did respond in a statement on Monday.

“To help solve Portland’s rising gun violence, we must identify the nature of the problem. Last year, there was a debate as to whether group/gang activity contributed to gun violence,” Bowman wrote.

The mayor’s office initiated an evaluation of Portland’s gun violence, conducted by California Partnerships for Safer Communities [CPSC].

“It showed that much of Portland’s gun murders are group/gang related. With that debate settled by a review of the data, the CPSC’s new analysis allows us to move forward with confidence that Safer Summer PDX — and subsequent work over the next two years — can produce results.”

Full statements can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

As part of the Safer Summer Initiative, a team of three people in the mayor’s office are violence prevention experts, has been brought in. Two of them, Julian Massenburg and Kandel Ashley, have worked in the Portland city government and grew up in the city.

A press release from June 28 notes Massenburg “grew up in and lives in areas most affected by gun violence.” It also points out Ashley has worked at the Native American Youth and Family Center, where young adults “were at high-risk of becoming involved in gang or gun violence.”

The third person, Shareef Khatib, has international experience “implementing counter-violence” including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and several other nations.

How these three plan to address gun violence is unknown because, after several requests, the city has refused to make any of them available for an interview.

“Once again, Portland had a significant amount of gun violence and homicides over the weekend. We cannot normalize this violence,” Commissioner Mingus Mapps said in a statement.

Mapps also addressed the Safer Summer program.

“I am supportive and hopeful that the Mayor’s Safer Summer PDX initiative will proactively intervene in this cycle of violence.”

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s communications team said she has not been given the Safer Summer executive order to read. The team also said she needs more time to review the 60-page analysis from CPSC.

Commissioners Dan Ryan and Carmen Rubio did not respond to a request for comment.

Police Chief Chuck Lovell did respond to the recent homicides and fatal car crashes over from Saturday through Monday in a series of tweets Monday afternoon.

“We know public safety is paramount to building a vibrant city and we ask that our community get involved,” Chief Lovell wrote. “If you know information that could lead to violence, please come forward and share it with police. Retaliatory violence, which occurs frequently, can be stopped.”

The chief’s full statement on Twitter can be seen here.

Full Statement from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Communication Lead Cody Bowman

““To help solve Portland’s rising gun violence, we must identify the nature of the problem. Last year, there was a debate as to whether group/gang activity contributed to gun violence. Determining an answer to this question calls for a set of different interventions to reduce gun violence. To help settle the debate, Mayor Wheeler asked CPSC (California Partnerships for Safe Communities) to complete an updated Portland gun violence problem evaluation. It showed that much of Portland’s gun murders are group/gang related. With that debate settled by a review of the data, the CPSC’s new analysis allows us to move forward with confidence that Safer Summer PDX — and subsequent work over the next two years — can produce results.”

Full Statement from Commissioner Mingus Mapps:

“Once again, Portland had a significant amount of gun violence and homicides over the weekend. We cannot normalize this violence. I am grateful to the Portland Police, 911 operators, and all first responders who dealt with this violence. I am supportive and hopeful that the Mayor’s Safer Summer PDX initiative will proactively intervene in this cycle of violence.”