(Sigh) Shootings in outer East Portland again ramp up

Week #100 Shooting Report | INCLUDES VIDEOS | With two major shootings this week in outer East Portland, near Lents Park and Parkrose High School, there’s no reason to celebrate our 100th weekly Shooting Report.  Included, read ‘HOW WE GOT HERE: 100 weeks of shootings’

With major shootings in Lents and Parkrose; and, minor gunshot incidents in Powellhurst-Gilbert, Glenfair and Centennial neighborhoods – violence committed by criminals with drawn guns looks again to be on the increase.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

While no one was killed by gunfire in outer East Portland this week – that we know of – there were two major shooting incidents in less than 24 hours, three minor shooting cases, and a total of 32 “Shots Fired” calls.

>> Read on, for “HOW WE GOT HERE: 100 weeks of shootings”, further down in this article.

But first, here are the details of this week’s shootings …

June 14
Shooting near Lents Park

With Lents Park in the background, offices investigate a shootout nearby.

On this lovely late-spring evening, a little before 7:00 p.m., a neighbor said she was walking her dog in the south end of Lents Park when she heard a series of “explosions” up the hill, to the north. “I heard what must have been 20 gunshots, in three bursts.”

As PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched to the intersection of SE 87th Avenue and Schiller Street at 6:41 p.m., as soccer games were in play on the Lents Park pitches, and as a Portland Pickles game was about to begin.

This FIT officer photographs one of the many spent bullet casings in the area, this one near Evidence Marker #07.

As it turned out, only one shell casing was found at SE 87th Avenue; but several groupings of shell casings, and what looked like several live rounds (unfired bullets), were located along the eastern edge of Lents Park on SE 88th Avenue.

Soon, as many as 10 officers gathered there; they’d cordoned off 88th Avenue, as well as Schiller Street for the length of a block, as they began their investigation.

Watch, as officers investigate this shooting that took place on the edge of Lents Park:

 

Some of the officers were members of the PPB’s FIT squad, it’s unclear if joined by ECST members.

Pistol parts on the street makes it appear that this shooter’s gun actually fell apart – scattering live, unfired bullets near this evidence marker.

“That’s something we don’t often see,” an officer remarked out to East Portland News as he pointed to Evidence Marker #2 and #3. “It looks like someone fumbled their ammunition, dropped the bullets, and didn’t take the time to pick them up.”

For hours, the officers took measurements, documented the placement of evidence, and snapped photos – all while nearby Pickles Baseball fans were enjoying, and cheering, the game nearby.

Officers discuss evidence turned up during the investigation of this shooting that took place – very near the Pickles’ baseball stadium.

“Officers located evidence of shots being fired,” later confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Nathan Sheppard. “A witness at the scene told officers said two men shooting at each other, then left the scene. There are no known injuries, and there are no suspects in custody.”

This shooting is Case No. 22-158922.

 

June 15
Shooting locks-down Parkrose High School

On the edge of the Parkrose High School campus – not on school property, but in the street – officers find spent bullet casings after a daytime shooting.

About 16 hours after the Lents Park shooting, PPB North Precinct officers were dispatched to a “Shots Fired” call at 11:11 a.m. in the 12000 block of NE Shaver Street.

The original area of dispatch is about midpoint along the southern edge of the Parkrose High School (PHS) campus; and, directly to the south, is the Parkrose Middle School campus. However, at that location, not a single police cruiser or officer was in sight.

PPB ECST investigators and officers talk with PHS staff, outside the Applied Arts building after the shooting.

As we canvassed the neighborhood, driving north on NE 115th Avenue, along the western edge of the PHS campus – looking east, along the access road into the school that serves the PHS Applied Arts building and Aquatic Center – we saw numerous law enforcement vehicles stationed there.

Students at the edge of the PHS tennis court said they’d heard that the shooting actually took place at the very northwest edge of the campus.

-9 An officer in his patrol vehicle stops in the middle of NE 115th Avenue to speak with the driver of a vehicle about this shooting.

Arriving there, a PPB officer left his vehicle, going door to door, looking for witnesses.

A neighbor hailed us; we stopped and listened to his story.

“I was out in my yard, and I saw it all happen,” the man began. “A white SUV – the one being shot at – was coming north on NE 115th Avenue; the driver stopped to let off two teens, perhaps PHS students,” he recalled.

“Then, a white sedan, with white wheel coverings, was heading westbound on NE Prescott Street and went through the intersection of NE 115th Avenue. He pulled over and stopped on the wrong side of the street, got out and started shooting at the other car – then took off.”

Here’s a video surveillance recording of this shooting; it’s a bit unclear because it’s being taken off a video monitor – but, it’s clear enough:

The witness said he thought officers had found 14 spent shell casings nearby.

On foot, this officer is checking with neighbors in the area to learn what they may know about this shooting.

Parkrose School District acts quickly
In an email to the Parkrose School District community later that day, Superintendent Michael Lopes Serrao wrote, in part:

I am writing to update you regarding the lock in/out at our north side schools (Prescott, Shaver, Parkrose Middle and Parkrose High School) at approximately 11:25 a.m. today.

We received reports of gunfire on Prescott Street near the Parkrose High School campus. The gunfire did not happen on our campus; the gunshots were fired from a moving vehicle.

At that time, we asked our schools to securely lock all exterior doors to ensure everyone’s safety. This included bringing students who were outside on campus and on playgrounds into our buildings.

Around 12:10 p.m., we were given the ‘all clear’ by the Portland Police Bureau and notified our schools. Out of an abundance of caution, we postponed the Prescott 5th Grade Promotion this afternoon since it was scheduled for 12:30 pm. We apologize our 5th graders and their families, but wanted to ensure everyone’s safety.

Back at PHS, an FBI agent joins PPB officers as the school.

Asked why the FBI and PPB officers stayed at the school long after the shooting investigation was over, the PPB’s Lt. Nathan Sheppard replied, “We kept officers there to increase the feeling of safety for the kids as school was letting out, since a shooting happened so near their school.”

This incident was assigned Case No. 22-159672.

 

Three additional shootings this week

Across the city, outside our neighborhoods there were five shooting incidents to which emergency medical first responders were also sent.

June 12 at 12:34 a.m.
Shooting in Powellhurst-Gilbert

Past midnight, after a day of rain, officers come out to investigate this shooting.

Officers were dispatched to the area of SE Powell Boulevard at 125th Place, the location of a large apartment complex. Paramedics and an ambulance were also dispatched, but it‘s unknown if anyone was injured. No one has been arrested. This is Case No. 22-156174.

June 12 at 1:09 p.m.
Glenfair shooting, near MAX line
We’ve not yet received information about this shooting incident on NE 148th Avenue near East Burnside Street, other than that paramedics and police officers were dispatched to the incident. This is Case No. 22-156586

June 13 at 12:32 a.m.
Shooting near ‘Meadowland’ area in Centennial
Again, little is known about this shooting incident that reportedly took place along SE Naegeli Drive in front of the Meadowland Townhomes, and behind the shopping center, a block south of SE 172nd Drive. This is Case No. 22-157113.

If you have information, or can provide security camera video evidence that can help investigators with any shooting case, email them at crimetips@portlandoregon.gov – and be sure to include the Case Number of the case you are responding to. Or, tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers of Oregon, and perhaps you will receive a cash reward of up to $2,500.

HOW WE GOT HERE: 100 weeks of shootings

As City of Portland officials disband Portland Police Bureau teams, and much later, create new units, our officers remain out on our streets, diligently working to reduce shooting crimes.

As we speculated last week, if activities of criminals using guns continued to diminish, we’d gladly retire the weekly “Shooting Report” before Week #100. But alas, it’s ticking up again.

As an officer told us at a shooting incident this week, “As summer comes, we’re unlikely to see fewer shootings; and we’re expecting to see crimes committed with guns spike up again.” Thus, it’s likely our “Shooting Report” will appear here weekly for the foreseeable future.

How did we get to this situation? Here’s a brief history:

GVRT unit disbanded, shootings spike
June 9, 2020 is the date that Portland’s Police Commissioner – Mayor Ted Wheeler – announced the disbanding of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT). The number of shooting incidents in outer East Portland spiked the next day and nearly tripled in a month – and continued to steadily increase, racking up 892 incidents that year, with more than half of them in outer East Portland.

August 6, 2020 – Mayor Wheeler hinted that the GVRT might be reinstated “in some form” – and that month ended with 122 shootings logged.

December 22, 2020 – PPB Chief of Police Chuck Lovell told neighbors that his office had been tasked by Mayor Wheeler’s office make a plan to reduce shootings by Christmas – a plan which was written and presented to the Mayor by that date.

Shootings continue, unabated.

February 19, 2021 – PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis reveals the Bureau’s new “Enhanced Community Safety Team” (ECST) was tasked to investigate, and not prevent, shootings.

Criminals, with guns, continue to shoot up our neighborhoods.

June 4, 2021 – A year after Mayor Wheeler disbanded the GVRT, he announced the formation of the “Focused Intervention Team” (FIT) – and, along with it, the “Community Oversight Group” (COG) to supervise and critique the unit’s staff and activities.

And still, shooting incidents don’t decrease.

January 19, 2022 After training, the new Focused Intervention Team officers and command staff roll out for their first night shift based from North Precinct facilities – although most shootings take place in outer East Portland.

Fortunately, since the PPB’s ECST and FIT units have gone into action, their officers have slowed the increase in shooting incidents. We’re hopeful these dedicated officers will be able to reduce these potentially deadly crimes further as time goes on.

~ SHOTS FIRED LOG ~

The number of “Shots Fired” calls this week increased to 32 incidents. It’s not as great a number as some weeks in the past – but this indicates bullets are still being fired in, or near our neighborhoods.

As in past weeks, an almost equal number of calls were logged outside our area. Officers might, or might not, locate any victims, damage, or evidence when responding to these calls; but some of them do turn out to be shooting cases.

June 8
22-153433       06/08/2022 at 22:59:49           1700 Block of SE 159TH AVE
22-153551       06/09/2022 at 01:21:39           13000 Block of SE POWELL BLVD

June 9
22-153627       06/09/2022 at 04:50:22           3000 Block of SE 78TH AVE

June 10 [+ Nine out of our area]
22-154521       06/10/2022 at 00:14:57           13600 Block of SE CLAYBOURNE ST
22-154555       06/10/2022 at 01:20:19           10800 Block of NE HOLMAN ST

June 11
22-155480       06/11/2022 at 01:52:55           6600 Block of NE ROSELAWN ST

22-155505       06/11/2022 at 02:40:57           17800 Block of NE MARINE DR
22-155561       06/11/2022 at 05:06:38           300 Block of SE 127TH AVE
22-155651       06/11/2022 at 08:48:06           SE 79TH AVE / SE STEELE ST
22-155996       06/11/2022 at 20:01:11           9100 Block of NE BRAZEE ST
22-156032       06/11/2022 at 20:59:18           00 Block of NE STANTON ST
22-156042       06/11/2022 at 21:21:52           8100 Block of SE CARLTON ST
22-156063       06/11/2022 at 21:56:02           9200 Block of SE ALDER ST
22-156083       06/11/2022 at 22:22:35           3100 Block of SE 167TH AVE

June 12
22-156210       06/12/2022 at 01:35:40           3200 Block of NE 76TH AVE

22-156265       06/12/2022 at 03:17:20           9100 Block of SE REEDWAY ST
22-156299       06/12/2022 at 04:23:10           12400 Block of NE WASCO ST
22-156313       06/12/2022 at 04:59:31           00 Block of NE 128TH AVE

June 13
22-157089       06/13/2022 at 00:02:04           5500 Block of SE 72ND AVE

22-157132       06/13/2022 at 01:03:53           4600 Block of NE 118TH AVE
22-157186       06/13/2022 at 02:44:22           4500 Block of SE 122ND AVE
22-157984       06/13/2022 at 22:27:54           SE 97TH AVE / SE FOSTER RD
22-158008       06/13/2022 at 23:04:09           15900 Block of SE ALDER ST

June 14
22-158162       06/14/2022 at 03:16:49           2600 Block of NE 82ND AVE

22-158922       06/14/2022 at 18:41:46           4700 Block of SE 92ND AVE
22-159140       06/14/2022 at 22:29:17           9800 Block of NE IRVING ST
22-159150       06/14/2022 at 22:40:13           SE 128TH AVE / SE HOLGATE BLVD

June 15
22-159309       06/15/2022 at 02:01:47           2700 Block of SE 136TH AVE

22-159338       06/15/2022 at 02:54:52           8300 Block of NE BEECH ST
22-159672       06/15/2022 at 11:11:33           NE 115TH AVE / NE PRESCOTT ST
22-159681       06/15/2022 at 11:21:26           I205 FWY / NE GLISAN ST
22-159729       06/15/2022 at 12:14:26           SE 69TH AVE / SE FLAVEL ST

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Unfortunately for all of us, it seems likely that there will be a “Week #101 Shooting Report” to publish next week. Thus, the *sigh* in the headline.

We continue to be grateful for the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau who are working to reduce shootings by arresting criminals who use guns against the public.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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