Bullets fly in tavern shoot-up on Powell

Several patrons saw it happen, but none are certain why – or who – sent bullets flying through this cozy Powellhurst Gilbert establishment …

Outside Papa Son’s Pub, police talk with witnesses who say a gunman opened fire inside the bar.

Story and photos by David F.Ashton
It is not known whether the incident was a “robbery gone bad” – or instead a vendetta against one of the patrons – when bullets flew inside Papa Son’s Pub at 12525 SE Powell Boulevard, at about 10:30 p.m. on April 7.

Reports about what occurred that evening seemed to depend on the vantage point of each witness – when a gunman fired “several shots” inside the bar.

“I had my back to it all,” customer Jimmy Calderon said. “It was just ‘bang, bang, bang’ – at least three shots.”

Calderon told East Portland News that some patrons hit the floor, others ducked. “My ears are still ringing; it was really loud. I’m still shaking.”

Some witnesses tell police they think it was a robbery attempt, but others say the gunman was out to shoot someone in the bar.

When patrons first flagged down Portland Police Bureau East Precinct district officers, some witnesses told them a man had fled the premises, and headed north into nearby apartments.

At first, police suspected that the fleeing man might be the shooter; but they soon discovered that instead he was a near-victim.

Other witnesses said they saw the gunman run out of the bar, cross SE Powell Boulevard, and continue running eastbound, on the south side of the street.

The bar closes for the evening, while police begin their investigation.

Police did find “at least three” bullet casings inside the bar.

“Officers located evidence of gunfire inside the bar, but it is unclear why the suspect fired a gun or why he was inside the bar,” confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“Multiple officers, including a PPB K-9 Unit, canvassed the neighborhood looking for the suspect, but did not locate anyone matching his description,” Simpson continued. “The suspect is described as an African American male, wearing a hoody and some kind of mask.”

Police cruisers flood this section of the Powellhurst Gilbert neighborhood, looking in vain for a masked, hoody-wearing gunman.

There are no reported injuries in the shooting. “It’s a miracle no one was really hurt badly, or killed,” Calderon observed.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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