Police flood outer East Portland after two overnight shootings

Cops had their hands full, after two gunshot victims arrived at area hospitals, and one woman was found dead …

Throughout the morning, police officers stop cars from driving into sections of the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, after a 24-year-old is murdered at the Laurel Place Apartments.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Other than a few smashed pumpkins, Halloween evening was relatively peaceful in outer East Portland this year. But November did not start well. At 1:35 a.m., only an hour and a half into the new month, violence broke out at two different locations in the Powellhurst Gilbert neighborhood area.

The first incident was on SE Powell Boulevard; and moments later, another crime scene was established on SE Division Street, right at the southbound I-205 off ramp.

When 9-1-1 dispatchers broadcast the first “shots fired” call, one Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officer reported back that he’d heard shots on SE Powell Boulevard, east of SE 122nd Avenue.

Seven hours after a “shots fired” call came out at this outer East Portland apartment complex, police officers, criminalists and homicide detectives are still working at the crime scene.

As patrol cars converged on the Laurel Place Apartments at 12450 SE Powell Court, officers reported seeing a white four-door vehicle speeding away.

The suspect vehicle apparently headed east on SE Powell Boulevard. It turned south on SE 130th Avenue; then west of SE Bush Street. It then went south again on SE 125th, and zigzagged through the neighborhood until it came to SE Boise Street, where it turned east.

Here, where SE Boise Street dead-ends into west end of Gilbert Heights City Park, the driver guns the engine, and flies over the fence

-4 … drives through the park

-5 … and crashes into another fence. Students wouldn’t be at Gilbert Heights Elementary School, in the background, later in the day – it was a student day off for teacher conferences.

When making the turn, the driver perhaps didn’t realize that Boise Street dead-ends into Gilbert Heights City Park. At the sidewalk ramp leading from the street into the park, one of the suspects in the car bailed out and ran.

The driver gunned the engine, and the car flew over a berm and also over the low chain link fence at the edge of Gilbert Heights City Park. The vehicle continued east – driving across the park’s grass – until it hit a more substantial chain link fence surrounding a community garden.

The remaining occupants of the car then took off running in all directions.

Officers about to go home after their shifts were “held over” – and officers on duty in North and Central precincts – were called in to cover all of the intersections surrounding the area, hoping to catch those fleeing suspects.

After taking photographic evidence, a PPB criminalist returns to his vehicle.

At about the spot where they believe one of the passengers may have bailed out of the car, at the west edge of the park, PPB Detectives gather to share information.

As they kept watch, the PPB Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) were called into the area. “They have the training, equipment – like night vision goggles – and the tactics to search for suspects,” explained PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson at a morning press conference held in front of the apartment complex.

“About those three or four African American males who fled from the car into the neighborhood,” Simpson requested, “Homicide Detectives are asking for the public’s help to recover any discarded clothing, particularly jackets or hoodys, in the area of Gilbert Heights City Park.”

Police close off the freeway ramps on the west side of I-205 at SE Division Street, as they gather and catalog evidence from what is now called a second, yet unrelated, shooting.

Meantime, at the second crime scene location, on SE Division Street, officers reported seeing “numerous” bullet shell casings strewn about the pavement and shoulder of the southbound off ramp of I-205. No vehicles, victims, or suspects were located.

“At 2:55 a.m., North Precinct officers responded to Legacy Emanuel Hospital on the report of a walk-in gunshot victim with a non-life-threatening wound,” Simpson later said. “He was identified as 23-year-old Jeray Lashawn Jessie, a known gang associate. He was not cooperative with Gang Enforcement Team detectives who believe Jessie may be connected with the I-205/Division Street incident.”

Then, after learning that another walk-in gunshot victim arrived at 3:33 a.m., officers investigated the circumstances. “It appears his gunshot wounds were either accidental or self-inflicted; and unrelated to the two crime scenes,” reported Simpson.

PPB spokesperson Sgt. Pete Simpson reveals details about the overnight shootings, while standing outside the Laurel Place Apartments.

By 6:30 a.m., SERT squads had completed a yard-by-yard search of the area, Simpson told reporters at a press conference. “At that time, the neighborhood was essentially reopened to normal traffic. No suspects were located.

“Based on everything we’ve done this morning, we do not feel there is an immediate danger to the neighborhood,” Simpson said.

The “Mobile Precinct” serves as headquarters for the murder investigation at the apartment complex.

Relatives shared these images with reporters; they say they are of the homicide victim,  24-year-old Precious Antanaye Jackson..

Later that afternoon, Homicide Detectives released the name of the gunshot victim found at the apartment complex. “This morning’s homicide victim has been identified as 24-year-old Precious Antanaye Jackson,” Simpson confirmed.

This case remains under investigation.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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