Multiple shootings plague Powellhurst-Gilbert

With three shootings within six days, it’s no wonder that outer East Portland neighbors say they’re worried …

After three shootings, all of them in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, police close off streets while the incidents are investigated.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

In neighborhood meetings, and in areas where shootings have become common, people are saying they’re concerned at the apparent uptick in shootings near where they live and work.

Many of the more than 50 reported shooting incidents since the start of 2020 have occurred in outer East Portland. The latest gunfire grouping, between February 1 and February 6, took place in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

In each case, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Gun Violence Reduction Team responded to investigate.

February 1: Man wounded on SE Powell Boulevard

Police close off a parking lot while they investigate another shooting in this area, along SE Powell Boulevard.

On February 1 at 1:12a.m., PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched to a disturbance, with “shots fired” in an area of the neighborhood that’s seen considerable gun violence: On SE Powell Boulevard, just east of SE 124th Avenue.

“Officers found evidence of gunfire in a parking lot; the suspect or suspects had left the scene before officers arrived,” a PPB official reported. “A short time later, a victim with a gunshot wound arrived at a hospital by private vehicle, with injuries that do not appear life threatening.”

February 4: Man shot on SE 119th Avenue

Red tape marks off a crime scene on SE 119th Avenue, where a man was wounded by gunfire.

Along SE 119th Avenue, between SE Division and Clinton Streets, shots rang out at 5:53 p.m. on February 4; the incident was called into the 9-1-1 Center, and PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched.

“When officers arrived, they found an adult male victim with a gunshot wound; the man was transported to a hospital by ambulance,” remarked PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Brad Yakots. “The victim’s medical status is unknown at this time.”

Police secured the crime scene, and then for hours detectives and officers collected evidence.

“I heard three shots – ‘bang-bang-bang’ – and I saw that my friend got shot,” said Bennie Baxter, with obvious anguish, at the scene.

The investigation is underway, along the street where a man was shot.

Several neighbors had been standing by their vehicles, waiting to go home after work. “I don’t know if this was a ‘gang shooting’ or not; but I’m pretty sure [this shooting] wasn’t done by a hunter whose rifle ‘went off’ accidently!” commented Steve McDougall, as he waited for the street to open.

“It’s nice that the Commissioner of Police, [Mayor Ted] Wheeler, has hired ‘nice cops’ [PPB Safety Support Specialists], but what we really need back is the Bureau’s ‘Gang Enforcement’ cops on the street,” McDougall told East Portland News.

PPB is not releasing suspect information at this point, Yakots said.

February 6: SE Cora Street shooting wounds one

Officers gather to discuss evidence they’ve located in the latest shooting, just a block away from Gilbert Heights Elementary School.

Along the southeast edge of Gilbert Heights Park, another shooting investigation got underway, on February 6 at 2:34 a.m., as officers were called to SE Cora Street near 130th Avenue.
“Officers arrived and located evidence of gunfire,” a PPB official reported.

“Also, officers located a victim who had been injured during the shooting – but the injuries were minor, and the victim was not taken to a hospital.”

Suspect information has not been released about this incident, either.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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