Find out why this multiple shooting, on the edge of the Montavilla Neighborhood, really has the nearby residents on edge. Our exclusive photos tell much of the story …
Minutes after the shooting is reported, Portland Police Bureau officers converge on SE Division Street at SE 89th Avenue.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
About half a block north of SE Division Street, in the 2400 block of S.E. 89th Avenue, loud talk – some neighbors called it “the sound of arguing” – ended at about 11:30 p.m. on March 26, when gunshots rang out.
One man was seen lying in the street, on his back, arms at his side – lifeless. The man, later identified as 29-year-old Deangelo Oliver, had been shot to death.
Two of Oliver’s associates didn’t fare much better. One man was shot in the face. The bullet exited his neck, but missed his carotid artery. The other wounded man is also listed in serious condition.
The Police Bureau’s “Mobile Precinct” becomes the command center for the incident, on SE Division Street.
Within minutes, a dozen Portland Police Bureau squad cars swarmed into the area, and began blocking off streets to form a perimeter – bounding from SE Division Street north to SE Market Street, from SE 85th Avenue east to SE 92nd Avenue – in an attempt to capture the gunman.
Three vehicles had reportedly sped out of the area after the gunfire, according to the police calls. Two cars were stopped at the International House of Pancakes on SE 82nd Avenue of Roses – and another later was stopped by police on SE 89th Avenue at SE Lincoln Street. Sources inside the Police Bureau told us, “Nothing came out of those stops that are related to this case.”
Homicide and Gang Unit detectives start gathering evidence at the murder scene SE 89th Avenue.
Neighbors frightened by gang activity
“I just talked to my roommate on the phone,” Andrea Mitchell said, as she looked at the police blockade that stood between her and her home. “There was some kind of fight, my roommate said, then the shooting began. I think there are gangs around here, and now, I’m really scared.”
Another neighbor, who declined to identify himself, said he’d just gotten off work. “There are some nice houses and duplexes here,” he noted. “But, I think the gangsters have moved out from North Portland, and into this area. I’m renting; so I’m moving.”
Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Sgt. John Scruggs (left) confers with other East Precinct officers, as they continue to gather information about this shooting.
Police remain tight-lipped
Other than disclosing the name of the shooting victim, Portland Police Bureau have had little to say about their investigation – other than that “It is continuing,” according to spokesman Sergeant Greg Stewart. “Due to safety concerns, Detectives are not releasing the names of the other victims at this time.”
While we were not able to confirm what a person at the scene told us – that Oliver, a 1999 alum of Jefferson High School, was affiliated with the Crips gang – Sgt. Stewart did state, “This investigation is ongoing; detectives believe the shooting to be gang-related.”
The Multnomah County Coroner’s SUV (at left) leaves the scene.
Family members of the deceased have said, through a family spokesperson, they didn’t think that Oliver was gang-affiliated. And, a television station reported that Oliver’s aunt said his family received a call, supposedly from the killer, to apologize. The station added that the aunt knew who it was who called – a childhood friend of the deceased – but she wouldn’t identify him.
“There is no new information available,” said police spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat. “This is an ongoing investigation. We are asking for citizens, who have information about this case, to come forward.”
About 12 hours after the shooting, a biohazard cleanup crew completes their work, as detectives continue to gather evidence.
© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News