Mistaken identity leads to gang shooting

See the car windows that were shot out, alongside Ventura Park, and learn why families playing nearby were concerned …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood of outer East Portland, SE Stark Street is closed to traffic along the length of Ventura Park, while police conduct a shooting investigation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The sound of gunshots and glass shattering, broke the stillness of a Saturday afternoon for those in Ventura Park on July 1.

“I’m glad we were here, having our picnic here in the shade where the ground dips down, because we heard bullets zipping above our heads,” said Hank Mason. “You could hear the bullets hitting the trees, and see stuff flying off the branches,” he told East Portland News.”

Officers begin to investigate this car – its windows riddled with bullets.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers patrolling the area heard the gunshots, and called it in at 1:46 p.m..

“While searching for the source of the gunfire at Southeast 112th Avenue and Stark Street, officers came across a shooting victim in a vehicle,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“The female victim was transported to a Portland hospital with serious, but not believed to be life-threatening, injuries,” Simpson said.

Officers located a crime scene near just west of Southeast 117th Avenue and Stark, finding a black late-model Mercedes Benz sedan – with bullet holes in its windows.

Gang Enforcement Team detectives work with officers as they gather evidence related to this shooting.

Detectives with the PPB Gang Enforcement Team came to investigate the circumstances of shooting.

“Detectives believe the victim’s Mercedes may have been mistaken for a similar car that was being driven during a shooting earlier this week at Taco Bell at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Lombard Street,” Simpson later stated.

“On Thursday June 29, Gang Enforcement Team officers stopped 18-year-old Amir Isaiah Walker near Southeast 122nd Avenue and Stark Street. Walker was driving a black Mercedes Benz,” explained Simpson. “Walker, who had a warrant, was taken into custody and a handgun was seized from the vehicle.”

Police say the shot-up car closely resembled a vehicle being driven by this man, 18-year-old Amir Isaiah Walker, who was arrested in an earlier shooting incident – but it was not that car. MCDC booking photo

Walker was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 12:33 a.m. on June 30 on the outstanding warrant, as well as new charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Loaded Firearm. “Walker’s Mercedes Benz was seized as evidence, and officers located damage on the vehicle consistent with gunfire,” Simpson said

On July 3, Walker was released to custody Washington County for his outstanding warrant.

“However, the victim of [the July 1 shooting near Venture Park] has no connection to gangs or criminal activity, Simpson said.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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