TriMet bus driver, at the wheel, shot in Gateway District

UPDATED: $2,500 REWARD Police are looking for this outer East Portland shooter. Good news: detectives had a suspected gunman arrested in Vancouver, for a shooting back on April 26 …

Officials say the driver of this TriMet bus is lucky to be alive, after being shot while driving on NE Halsey Street, in the Gateway district.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

During the past week, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers were dispatched to 38 “Shots Fired” calls across outer East Portland; fortunately, at all but one, they found no injuries or deaths.

However, an officer on patrol did come upon a nearly-deadly shooting that resulted in a serious injury.

TriMet bus driver struck by bullet while behind the wheel

Detectives say this bullet hole was made by a bullet shot from a distance of a block or two away. PPB provided image

A PPB East Precinct officer was on another call on May 22, when, at 7:01 p.m., she called dispatch noting that she’d heard the sound of gunfire coming from the area of NE 102nd Avenue and Halsey Street in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

The officer was quickly joined by others who rolled in to the area of this busy intersection and discovered that a TriMet stopped, facing eastbound on NE Halsey Street in the “bus turn lane”, just short of 102nd Avenue.

This usually-busy intersection is blocked off while detectives investigate the shooting.

Officers called for medical first responders when they realized that the bus driver had been shot, while behind the wheel of the bus.

“We were coming out of Applebee’s, and right there on Halsey we saw the shooting going down; it was a black SUV, and the guy was hanging out of it shooting,” a witness told reporters at the scene.

PPB North Precinct Lt. Kenneth Duilio told reporters that the bus driver appeared to have an injury to his eye, possibly from shrapnel from the glass of the windshield through which the bullet passed. “He is at the hospital now there is concern about his vision and possibly losing his eye, but he should be able to survive the injury to his shoulder.”

The bullet hole, seen from inside the bus, shows now narrowly the driver missed being killed in this shootingPPB provided image

Of the 25 passengers on the bus, but none were injured. However, the single bullet hole in the bus’s windshield illustrated how narrowly the driver missed being killed by the bullet.

Based on a preliminary investigation, the PPB’s Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) detectives said they believe the shooter was further – perhaps a couple of blocks – east of NE 102nd Avenue and shooting westward, most likely at some other target than the bus.

UPDATE:

Officials say they’re looking for the occupants of this vehicle; they believe the shooter was in this SUV.

As the Portland Police Bureau continues to investigate a shooting that seriously injured a TriMet Bus Driver in this incident, they have released the above photo of a “vehicle of interest”.

Meantime, TriMet is announcing its own $2,500 reward for information that leads the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible for the shooting.

You have any information about this case, please reference Portland Police Case No. 21-138251 and e-mail crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

Arrest made in April 26 Parkrose shooting

On April 26, NE Sandy Boulevard is closed down, while detectives investigate a double shooting.

As covered in our April 30 “Compendium of Shootings” [CLICK HERE to view it], two people were injured in Parkrose in a double shooting near a motel on NE Sandy Boulevard.

Ever since it took place on April 26, near Northeast 96th Avenue, detectives with the PPB ECST have been pursuing a follow-up investigation.

Seen here in this January, 2020, Clark County Jail booking photo is 31-year-old Tejay Nunya Castle; he’s now facing multiple felony charges in both Washington and Oregon.

On Monday, May 24, 2021, ECST applied for and obtained an arrest warrant for 31-year-old Tejay Nunya Castle on charges of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (2 Counts), Attempted Assault in the First Degree (2 Counts), Assault in the Second Degree (2 Counts), Unlawful Use of a Weapon – Firearm (2 Counts), Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree (3 Counts).

Officers from the Vancouver Police Department located Castle and arrested him in their city on the evening of May 24 for the PPB arrest warrant – and also on unrelated charges in connection to a “road rage” shooting on May 12.

Castle is currently being held on $100,000 bail on the road rage shooting charge in Vancouver, at the Clark County Jail; Multnomah County is expecting to file extradition proceedings at some point.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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