Eastport Plaza ‘shootout’ jolts shoppers, hurts none

Here’s what’s known about an outer East Portland crime that left dozens of bullet casings in the parking lot of the Lents neighborhood shopping center …

Along two lanes of this parking lot, police find many bullet casings; but no bullet strikes, or injuries.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Those shopping and banking in the north end of Eastport Plaza ducked for cover when they heard gunshots just before 6:00 p.m. on July 26.

“I can’t believe what I saw and heard; guys shooting in front of the Joann’s [fabric store], and by the [Bank of America] building,” said Becky Amodei who said she’d come to use the after-hours automated teller.

After marking all the evidence, officers compare findings with one another.

“Even though the Center’s security truck wasn’t far away, it sounded like a movie shoot-out – I mean more gunshots than I could count!” Amodei told East Portland News.

A Portland Police Bureau official said that officers had responded to the shooting and “located evidence of gunfire in the parking lot.” Within eight minutes of dispatch, more than 20 police units had arrived – several of them attached to the Bureau’s “Gun Violence Reduction Team”.

Officers continue to search for evidence at the shooting.

Two of the parking lot lanes were littered with yellow police evidence markers, each showing where a bullet shell casing h\ad landed on the pavement.

“Officers performed a traffic stop near SE 84th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard, and looked into whether the vehicle that was stopped is connected with the shooting incident,” the police spokesperson reported.

Officers fanned out throughout the parking lot and into business storefronts looking for bullet strikes, and initially found none. “No one has been located with any injuries related to this incident,” the police official told us.

Because it was termed “an active investigation”, no further details were immediately revealed.

In lane next to the Bank of America branch, an officer marks where another bullet casing has landed.

Anyone with information about this incident or who has related video, is asked to contact Detective Jeff Pontius at (503) 823-2081 or at Jeffery.pontius@portlandoregon.gov

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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