Shootings, murders, and gunshot wounds persist in outer East Portland

Crimes, committed by vicious people using guns, abounded this week. See what you can do to stop this scourge …

Those who murder and wound people using guns in the Glenfair, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Argay Terrace, Madison South, and Lents neighborhoods keep law enforcement officers running from call to call.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After fifty-seven (57) consecutive weeks of East Portland News covering and reporting on shootings in outer East Portland – and the resulting murder and mayhem caused by violent people using guns – the continuing danger to our residents and workers, sadly, keeps this topic our “top story of the week”.

Looking back, the uptick in shootings and murders caused by malevolent people with guns started almost immediately after July 1, 2020 when Portland’s Police Commissioner, Mayor Ted Wheeler, disbanded the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) “Gun Violence Reduction Team”.

While Portlanders die, City Council members vacation
So far, the “discussion groups”, “plans”, and “ideas” by elected officials at City Hall, to increase safety in our area of Portland have produced little results.

What has the Portland City Council been doing about year-long crime wave lately? While blood runs in the streets, we find that these elected officials hasn’t been meeting for past two weeks! Here’s why, according to the City of Portland Auditor’s Office official statement: Due to lack of quorum, Portland City Council meetings have been canceled.

But take heart, our leaders will be meeting – one day – next week on August 15. CLICK HERE to see the “emergency” issues on which they’ll be deliberating.

During the past week, 51 [updated to 56] “Shots Fired” calls were logged; and three people were murdered by gunfire.  Not all “Shots Fired” calls turn out to be documented shooting incidents.

Here are this week’s most distressing stories of violence committed by criminals with guns, including a double-murder in Madison South:

August 7
Victim wounded by gunfire, in Glenfair

It remains unclear if this shooting took place in the street, or at a nearby apartment building, along the TriMet MAX Light Rail line.

After shots were heard in the Glenfair neighborhood, PPB officers responded at 2:11 a.m. to an area near the TriMet MAX Light Rail station along East Burnside Street near 148th Avenue.

Officers did find a shooting victim, and provided first aid until medical personnel arrived. The victim, who had a serious, but non-life-threatening, gunshot wound was medically stabilized by paramedics and then rushed to a nearby hospital.

Officers located evidence of the shooting, and canvassed the area for witnesses, until the PPB’s Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) arrived to take over the investigation.

If you have information about this case, please reference Case No. 21-217627, and e-mail what you know to crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

August 7
Teen found murdered near Powellhurst-Gilbert grade school

A “man down” report turned into a verified shooting homicide when detectives arrived to investigate.

Then, at 4:40 a.m., before sunrise on Saturday morning, August 7, a security guard near the Gilbert Heights Elementary School, at SE Holgate Boulevard and 128th Avenue, notified the 9-1-1 Center of “a man down”.

Medical personnel arrived and determined the individual was deceased. PPB East Precinct officers confirmed evidence of a shooting; PPB Homicide Division detectives responded to investigate, and said at the time it appeared to be a homicide.

Officials say that 18-year-old Dohnavinh “Don” Saelee was murdered by someone with a gun. GoFundMe page image

On August 11, a PPB official said the Oregon State Medical Examiner had identified the victim as 18-year-old Dohnavinh Saelee. From the autopsy, it was determined that Saelee had died from gunshot wounds. The ruling was that the death was a homicide.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Detective Joseph Corona at Joseph.Corona@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0508; or, Detective Michael Jones Michael.Jones@portlandoregon.gov.

A GoFundMe account has been set up
in memory of Saelee, CLICK HERE to open it.

August 7
One wounded in Argay Terrace shooting

Another shooting, later the same day, brings officers to investigate.

Finally, after a gunshot victim – reportedly with a non-life-threatening wound – arrived by private vehicle at a local hospital, PPB North Precinct officers were dispatched at 8:58 p.m. – both to the Emergency Department, and to the reported crime scene.

The PPB’s ECST investigators eventually confirmed that the shooting had indeed taken place in the area of NE Sandy Boulevard and140th Avenue; near the Venture Inn tavern, also the scene of a July 22 shooting.

No further information is currently available. However, if you have information about this case, please reference Case No. 21-218440, and e-mail your tip to crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

August 10
Double ‘homicide by gunshot’ in Madison South

From before sunrise, and on through the day, NE 82nd Avenue of Roses is closed to traffic while detectives investigate a double homicide that took place on a sidestreet.

After multiple calls from neighbors reporting “shots fired” – and at least one call urgently asking for emergency medical responders – PPB North Precinct officers, Portland Fire & Rescue units, and ambulances were dispatched on August 10 at 5:19 a.m. to NE Milton Street, about a block east of NE 82nd Avenue of Roses.

Arriving officers came across multiple gunshot victims, and according to some accounts, also a bullet-ridden parked travel trailer. “Two of those victims did not survive; three other victims were taken by ambulance to a local hospital,” is what a PPB official revealed at the time.

PPB Homicide Division detectives confer with one another, near a car with fresh bullet holes in the windshield.

A PPB Homicide Division detective walks by “evidence marker #21” – which shows the location of a bullet casing.

The initial response brought 29 PPB units to the area – and, until late that afternoon, NE 82nd Avenue of Roses was closed to traffic, as the thoroughfare filled with PPB Homicide Division detectives, Forensics Division workers, officers, and eventually the Mobile Command Center.

“Officers searched the area for suspects, but did not locate any,” the PPB spokesperson reported.

Relatives assert that these men – musicians with Brooklyn Zu – Odion Turner, known as “12 O’Clock”; and his cousin David Turner, known as “Murdock”; were gunned down when they opened the door of their RV to a stranger. Family provided photos via PPB

The next day, Wednesday, August 11, the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office identified the dead as 45-year-old David Turner and 50-year-old Odion Turner. An autopsy on both men determined they had died from gunshot wounds, and the Medical Examinar ruled both deaths homicides.

“A sixth shooting victim was taken by private vehicle to a hospital, and that person remains hospitalized with life threatening injuries,” the PPB spokesperson said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Stephen Gandy; Stephen.Gandy@portlandoregon.gov or Detective Jeffery Pontius Jeffery.Pontius@portlandoregon.gov; 503-823-0433. It’s Case No. 21-220650.

August 12
Car-to-car shooting causes wreck, in Lents

SE Ellis Street is blocked off after the victims of a car-to-car shooting sends this vehicle off the road – and through a utility pole.

Twenty (20) PPB East Precinct units were dispatched at 5:37 p.m. on August to SE Ellis Street, between 85th and 86th avenues to check in on a vehicle-to-vehicle shooting.

“Officers were responding to a call from a victim, driving her car, who said she was being followed by someone in another car,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen. “The 911 call-taker tried to guide her to East Precinct to meet officers but she was unable to get there; and stated someone from the other car was shooting at her.

Both the victim and the suspect crashed into parked cars during the confrontation. The victim’s car, Chevy sedan, eventually crashed into a utility pole on SE Ellis Street. The woman was not seriously hurt, but the wooden utility pole had been severed at the base.

Officers speak with potential witnesses of this shooting.

The shooter left the scene before officers arrived. PPB’s ECST came to investigate this shooting. No one was injured – at least by gunfire – in this incident.

If you have information about this case, please reference Case No. 21-223457, and e-mail your tip to crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

August 12
Shooting at transient camp along I-205 path injures one person

Looking south from SE Holgate Boulevard, first-arriving officers drove their rigs along I-205 Multi-Use Path along encampments to the scene of a shooting in the Lents neighborhood.

Neighbors watching the commotion along the I-205 Multi-Use Path (MUP), from SE Pardee Street, where it loops around on 94th Avenue and into SE Schiller Street, the evening of August 12, say turmoil and disorder is a every-day occurrence in their part of the Lents neighborhood.

But, that evening, the typical tumult turned into mayhem when gunshots sent campers scurrying from that section of the MUP. At 7:57 p.m. eight PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched to the area on a “Shooting – with Weapon” call.

Folded business cards [lower, right hand side of image] on the I-205 Multi-Use Path momentarily mark two of the spent bullet casings left behind by the shooter.

Neighbors stood, carefully to stay in their yards, and watched police vehicles rolled in, along with Portland Fire & Rescue Lents Station’s Engine 11 paramedic/firefighters, as well as an ambulance.

Neighbors claim being threatened by campers
“When we moved here, this was a “beautiful, wonderful place to live’ we used to go bike riding along the Multi-Use Path, and we’d go for walks on the path,” he said.

“But, over the past few years, it’s gotten so bad, whenever we’re outside of our house, in our yard, we’re verbally threatened by these ‘campers’ and who yell at us to ‘go back inside’ our homes,” he added. “Living here has turned into a living hell,” he added.

Down the block, another neighbor said, “Maybe if (Mayor Ted) Wheeler, and members of the City Council had to live here, things would change. Several of us neighbors want to sell our homes and move away; but, when buyers get a look at the camps, some won’t even get out of their cars.”

Although most of the temporary residents fled the encampment after the shooting, an officer speaks with a person in a tent, near the site of the shooting.

While shooting victim was medically stabilized at the scene and loaded into the waiting ambulance, officers maintained the crime scene until the ECST investigators arrived to take over.

“A person in a tent along the MUP was struck by gunfire and found to have injuries to his legs,” said Sergeant Allen. “The officers placed a tourniquet to help control the bleeding before being taken to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries,” he added.

Although victim was conscious but at the time, officers were unable to learn much from the wounded person about the suspect.

If you have information about this case, please reference Case No. 21-223556 , and e-mail your tip to crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

The grim count continues
“Preliminary data indicates there have been 752 total confirmed shooting incidents, not including suicide attempts, this year in Portland. And 245 people have been injured by gunfire year-to-date,” was what East Portland News received Sergeant Allen.

It is time for you to metaphorically decide: “Take the RED pill, or BLUE pill*

RED PILL If you are disturbed by the continuing shootings, contact your elected officials and, using polite language, let them clearly know of your safety concerns:

Mayor Ted Wheelermayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardestyjoann@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Mingus MappsMappsOffice@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Carmen Rubiocomm.rubio@portlandoregon.gov
Commissioner Dan RyanCommissionerRyanOffice@portlandoregon.gov

BLUE PILL This is an easy alternative; do nothing! And, then, hope that ‘someone else’ will stand up and demand that our elected officials take action.

*This metaphor is from the motion picture, THE MATRIX.

© 2021 at David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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