Gangs with guns keep police on alert

It’s getting difficult to keep up with all of the gun, and gang-related activity in outer East Portland. Here’s this week’s roundup …

This week’s tour of gun crime starts here, at Ventura Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After the sun goes down, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers, and North Precinct officers who cover outer East Portland north of Interstate 84, have again been running from call to call, dealing with gang-related issues.

In this parking lot, at Venture Park, police say they found a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

Convicted felon arrested in Ventura Park
June 8, 2015 – 12:19 a.m.

After neighbors complained about a “drunken parties” in the parking lot of Ventura Park along SE 113th Avenue near Stark Street, officers noticed that a group was in the park after park closure hours, drinking alcohol.
“As officers approached the group, the group of people started walking away from police and towards cars in the parking lot,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.
“Officers observed one member of the group place a handgun underneath one of the parked cars, then sit on the curb along with the others in the group,” Simpson said.
Based on the officers’ observations, additional officers were requested to respond to the scene. Officers spoke with the group about park closure hours and laws regarding drinking alcohol in public.

Police arrest 26-year-old Corey Kenneth Johnson, after he allegedly slid his pistol under a car at Ventura Park. MCDC booking photo

“When cover units arrived, 26-year-old Corey Kenneth Johnson was arrested without incident, and officers seized the loaded handgun from under the car.”

Johnson was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 1:37 a.m. on charges of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of a Loaded Firearm. On the charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Johnson’s bail was set at $5,000. He remains in custody on a County Hold, without bail, for Parole Violation, at Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

Gang members lead police on chase and search, after shooting at Knott Park
June 9, 2015 – 10:53 p.m.

Neighbors say the parking lot of Knott Park is where another gang shootout took place.

Neighbors living in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood tensed up and winced after hearing “multiple gunshots” near Knott Park.

“It sounded like a shootout,” said neighbor Terri Binkerton. “Then, we heard tires squealing, like cars were making a getaway from something, at the east end of Knott Park, near NE Sacramento and 114th [Avenue].”

At least one of the cars involved headed south.

“Several officers responded to the area; one officer spotted a vehicle being driven quickly out of the area,” Simpson reported.

The driver kept heading south, past NE San Rafael Street, then past NE Halsey Street, to NE Glisan Street.”

“The driver of the vehicle led police on a short traffic pursuit before crashing in the area of NE 114th Avenue and Glisan Street,” added Simpson.

The driver and four passengers in the wrecked car scattered in all directions.

An extensive neighborhood search by police officers, including two K-9 Units and the Air Support Unit, tracked the suspects. A foot chase took officers down streets, through back yards, and over fences.

Neighbors pointed out to police where a man, clutching his waistband, had climbed over their fence, about a block from the crash scene.

“Three suspects were booked into the MCDC as a result of this investigation,” Simpson later said. “A fourth was detained and released pending further investigation. The fifth suspect was not located after an extensive search.

“No gunshot victims have been located at this time,” Simpson added. “Officers seized two handguns from the suspect vehicle and located evidence of gunfire in the parking lot next to Knott Park, at 11456 Northeast Knott Street.”

Three of the five suspects in this case – Malik Rashawn Seamster, Jerone Enrico Cuie, and Ronald Emery Williams – remain in custody on a variety of charges. MCDC booking photos

18-year-old Malik Rashawn Seamster was booked into MCDC, charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Loaded Firearm in the City, and a probation violation for Robbery in the Third Degree. Seamster remains at Inverness Jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.

22-year-old Jerone Enrico Cuie was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Loaded Firearm in the City. Cuie remains at Inverness Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

25-year-old Ronald Emery Williams was charged with Felony Attempt to Elude by Vehicle, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Loaded Firearm in the City, and an outstanding felony warrants for Assault in the Third Degree and Failure to Appear in the First Degree. Williams remains at Inverness Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.

“A 17-year-old male was detained and released to his parents,” Simpson noted. “All four subjects are known to police as gang associates.”

Attempted murder in the Centennial neighborhood
June 10, 2015 – 10:52 p.m.

Police stop a man, walking through the neighborhood with a gun, who is later charged with attempted murder.

About a block south of Lynchview Park, citizens calling 9-1-1 drew East Precinct officers to the 1900 block of SE 162nd Avenue at SE Stephens Street.

“Witnesses identified a subject, walking through the area, as being involved in the shooting.

18-year-old Ryan Philip Vilches is arrested for possession of a firearm, but held on charges of Attempted Aggravated Murder. MCDC booking photo

Officers contacted the man, 18-year-old Ryan Philip Vilches, and took him into custody without incident, Simpson said. An officer checked a yard in the area where Vilches was seen walking and found a handgun lying in the yard.

“Officers located evidence of gunfire at SE 162nd Avenue and Grant Street [two blocks south], but no gunshot victims were located or identified.”

Gang Enforcement Team (GET) officers responded to conduct an investigation, and later booked Vilches into MCDC at 3:52 a.m., on charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Possession of a Loaded Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Aggravated Theft in the First Degree.

Vilches remains lodged in MCDC in lieu of $255,000 on the charge of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and also an additional charge of Attempted Aggravated Murder.

Maywood Park Shootout
June 11, 2015 – 12:35 a.m.

Near this intersection, MCSO deputies and Portland Police officers find evidence left behind after a car-to-car shooting.

The City of Maywood Park is protected by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Patrol Deputies. They responded to a “shots fired” call near the intersection of NE 102nd Ave and NE Skidmore St.

“The caller reported two vehicles – a white sedan with a blue stripe down the side, and a red vehicle – were driving side by side southbound on NE 102nd Avenue,” said MCSO Public Information Officer Lt. Steve Alexander.

“A passenger in the red vehicle leaned out the window and fired several shots at the white sedan,” Alexander said. “The red vehicle sped off and continued southbound on NE 102nd Avenue. The white sedan turned around and was last seen northbound on NE 102nd Avenue.”

Deputies and PPB officers found evidence of gunfire at NE 102nd Avenue and NE Skidmore Street, but did not locate any gunshot victims or property damage.
“It is unknown at this time if this shooting was gang-related,” Alexander said.

Parkrose Shell Station Shooting
June 11, 2015 – 1:27 a.m.

Law enforcement officials say they are unsure that the flurry of overnight shootings, including this car being shot up at a Shell station, are related. Courtesy of KATU 2 News

A car was shot up – with the driver inside it – at the Shell Station at 9920 NE Sandy Boulevard.

“The victim was suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound,” Simpson said.

In the gas station lot, officers located the victim’s vehicle, with multiple bullet holes along the driver’s side of the vehicle. The investigation led officers to the 8700 block of NE Killingsworth Street where evidence of gunfire was located and suspected to be related to this shooting.

“At this point, it is not known if any of the three shootings are connected,” Simpson said.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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