3 more shootings – In 3 days, in 3 neighborhoods

This time, it’s the Lents, Centennial, and Hazelwood neighborhoods being shot up by criminals with guns. One ended in death, declared to be a homicide …

Police close off another outer East Portland street to investigate another shooting, as gun violence here surges.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Last week, several shootings took place east of the Willamette River, but none of them in outer East Portland.

This week, after two shootings in two days, some neighbors say they’re “terrified” by the uptick of gun violence, many leading to homicides; others say they’ve grown accustomed to the murderous mayhem.

August 18:
Kids shoot at Lents Boys & Girls Club

SE Harold Street is closed off at SE 92nd Avenue by officers, after guns unload a barrage of bullets.

In front of a place that most people associate think of as a joyful place for kids: The Wattles Boys and Girls Club – now shuttered by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic – in the Lents neighborhood. It was the place where at least one juvenile fired a hail of bullets on the evening of August 18.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched to the 9300 block of SE Harold Street at 7:59 p.m., and were likely amazed to see what they found.

“Officers recovered 24 bullet casings, consisting of three different caliber bullets, outside of the Boys & Girls Club building,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Melissa Newhard. “The building appeared to be struck by gunfire at least one time.”

White business cards serve as evidence markers, placed over the two dozen bullet casings found in the street, in front of the Wattles Boys & Girls Club center. PPB provided image

Officers learned a houseless female camping nearby, on the I-205 Multi Use Path, may have been hit by gunfire. “An extensive search for the female was conducted; however, she was not located,” Newhard related. “One juvenile suspect was detained and referred to [Multnomah County’s] Juvenile Services Division.”

Watching the investigation unfold from her yard nearby, “When are these shootings in our neighborhood – in fact, all over town – going to stop?” asked Marybeth Robertson, shaking her head.

“I’m glad we’re not having riots here in Lents, but I’m terrified about all of the shootings; they never seem to stop,” Robertson told East Portland News.

August 19:
Centennial shooting turns into homicide investigation

SE Alder Street is closed off, west of 162nd Avenue, while detectives investigate an early morning shooting.

The following morning, August 19, PPB East Precinct officers were called out to the Centennial Community Association neighborhood at 7:39 a.m. to 16000 SE Alder Street, and directed to the parking lot of the Alder Village Apartments.

Observing the activity in the area, it became apparent that this far more serious than a “shots fired” incident. The PPB Mobile Command Center was parked across the street, serving as an office for Homicide Division detectives; the Bureau’s Forensics Division CSI staff were busy collecting evidence at the scene.

And, a truck, similar to one typically used by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner, was stationed deep in the parking lot.

Investigators focus on an area in the south end of the apartment complex’s parking lot.

“When officers arrived, they located evidence of a shooting and found a subject who had been shot,” was all PPB Public Information Officer Lieutenant Tina Jones could tell us about the incident, later that morning, because the investigation was still underway.

A resident looked chagrinned more than angry – because he couldn’t get back to his apartment. “No, no, I’m not concerned about this; we have shootings, stabbings, and people getting beaten up in this neighborhood all the time, so I’ve gotten used to it,” wryly commented Jason Brentson.

“Really, that’s kind of sad, isn’t it?” Brentson mused.

Officers and detectives confer at the scene if this shooting.

The following day, on August 20, information provided by PPB Public Information Officer Derek Carmon clarified the gravity of the incident.

“A male subject was found deceased at the scene of yesterday’s shooting; the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the manner of death was a homicide, and the cause was a gunshot wound,” Carmon said. “The victim is not being identified at this time.”

If you have information about this case, contact Detective William Winters at (503) 823-0466 or William.winters@portlandoregon.gov; or contact Detective Brad Clifton at (503) 823-0696 or brad.clifton@portlandoregon.gov.

August 20:
Woman wounded in Hazelwood shooting

Law enforcement officers and medical first responders come to the Hazelwood neighborhood to investigate a shooting, and find a wounded female.

After gunshots were reported in the parking lot near the David Douglas High School “South Cafeteria” building, along SE 130th Avenue, in the wee hours of August 20, officers were dispatched at 2:17 a.m.

“When officers arrived at the location, they found an adult female, who had been shot,” Officer Derek Carmon reported, adding that she had been taken to an area hospital by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

An ambulance prepares to take a female, with a gunshot wound, to a hospital for medical evaluation and treatment.

“No arrests have been made at this time,” Carmon advised.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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