Gang shootings escalate in outer East Portland

Both in the dead of night – and in broad daylight – incidents lead neighbors to call East Burnside Street ‘Gangster Alley’ …

On SE 162nd Avenue, a block north of East Burnside Street, officers search for a gunman that opened fire – spraying the neighborhood with bullets.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
In the past two weeks, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Gang Enforcement Team investigators have responded to 11 gang-related shootings – many of them in outer East Portland, mid-County area..

Whether in daylight or in darkness, many of these shootings have a common geographic location: East Burnside Street, from SE 122nd Avenue eastward to Gresham.

On the evening of June 13, for example, a man was shot – and then run over – on SE 148th Avenue, just north of E. Burnside St. > CLICK HERE to read that story.

After attempting to sniff out a suspect, a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team heads to apartments where witnesses say suspects are holed up.

Three days later, on June 16, “multiple shots” rang out again in the Glenfair Neighborhood, at about 3:18 p.m., in the 15800 block of East Burnside Street.

“As officers were en route to the scene, it was broadcast that several African American males were seen running from the area, and some were leaving in vehicles,” PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson told East Portland News.

While a suspect sits in the back of this patrol car (he wasn’t charged with a crime, and was released), officers begin their search of an outer East Portland apartment complex.

Within minutes East Precinct District Officers rolled into the area, as did a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team.

After a foot pursuit, officers detained one gang associate within the neighborhood perimeter they’d established.

An officer questions a witness, trying to discover the identity of the daylight shooter.

“Witnesses pointed out a unit in the Windsor Court Apartments, located at 15809 East Burnside Street, where people may have run into after the shooting,” Simpson said. “Officers made contact at the apartment, and detained several known gang associates.”

A large area around the apartment buildings is “taped off” while Gang Enforcement Team investigators search for a suspect.

But Gang Enforcement Team investigators got “stone-walled” – no witnesses came forward with information.

“Because no one was pointed out that was directly involved in the shooting, there were no arrests and the case remains under investigation.”

Late night shooting spree damages car

As is becoming more frequent, patrol cars converge at another shooting scene, along East Burnside Street.

Several people called 9-1-1 to report “several shots” being fired about 12:30 a.m. on June 18.

Officers converged on another hotspot, just up the street, in the area of SE 160th Avenue and East Burnside Street.

“As officers arrived in the area, they were flagged down by a man who reported his car being struck by a bullet as he drove through the area,” Simpson reported.

“Officers do not believe that either the man or the vehicle were the intended targets of the shooting,” he added.

Neighbors wonder if this all-too-familiar scene will become even more frequent during the summer months.

Apparently no arrests were made in this incident, but both cases are being investigated by the Gang Enforcement Team.

“If you have any information about these, or any other gang-related shootings,” Simpson requested, “call the Gang Enforcement Team at (503) 823-4106.”

He pointed out that Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony, and those who report can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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