Gunshots ring out in ‘troubled’ section of Powellhurst-Gilbert

See why neighbors say this part of the neighborhood is dangerous, as they give an eyewitness account of the shooting …

Neighborhood streets are shut down by police as they look for a shooter who ran through the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, west of I-205.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

One of the largest outer East Portland neighborhoods in size is Powellhurst-Gilbert. Most think of it as starting east of I-205. But in fact, it extends west to SE 82nd Avenue of Roses.

On September 23, about 8:30 p.m. Vera and Bobbie Cantor said they were walking their dog out into their side yard near the intersection of SE 85th Avenue and Brooklyn Street – directly “behind” the Fubonn Shopping Center.

Officers cordon off the site of the first shots, near SE 84th Avenue and Brooklyn Street.

“First, down the block [of SE Brooklyn Street at 84th Avenue], I heard three shots – bang-bang-bang,” Bobby told East Portland News. “Then, two guys ran [east] toward our house, and ran up [SE 85th Avenue toward Clinton Street]. Then, there were six more shots.”

The Cantors said the shooting unfolded in seconds, too fast for them to retreat ino their house. “We grabbed up the dog, and headed for the door,” Vera said. “We didn’t know if a ‘war’ was about to break out.”

An officer looks for bullet holes on the side of a house, in the line of fire of the first set of gunshots.

When police arrived, the Cantors did poke their heads out to watch the unfolding investigation. “This used to be a nice place to live,” Bobby mused aloud. “But it seems like a whole lot of ‘gangsters’ have moved in. Now, it’s constant trouble. It’s a troubled area.”

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson confirmed that the “shots fired” call came in at 8:31 p.m. on Wednesday evening. That dispatch summoned 15 units into the area.

On the north side of SE Division Street, an officer looks under cars, and on top of tires, for a discarded handgun, or other evidence.

“Officers and medical personnel arrived and located a male adult victim suffering from a gunshot wound,” Simpson said. “The victim was transported to a Portland hospital for treatment; his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.”

Near the site of the first volley of gunfire, three witnesses appeared to be discontented as they spoke with officers.

A suspect is held while officers check out his identity and story – and later release him.

PPB East Precinct officers detained a male suspect at SE 84th Avenue toward Clinton Street; others combed the area as far as the north side of SE Division Street.

“Based on information learned at the scene, the PPB Gang Enforcement Team responded to scene and is assisting with the investigation,” Simpson informed.

The shooter was described as an African American male, wearing bright-colored shorts and a dark shirt or jacket, Simpson reported.

A witness reluctantly speaks with an officer at the scene of the shooting.

As of this posting, the gunman remains at large.

Have a lead or tip for the police? Submit an anonymous tip at their website: CLICK HERE.

Into the night, police look for the suspects who shot up the neighborhood.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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