Two days, five more outer East Portland gun incidents

Learn more about these shooting incidents in the Lents, Hazelwood, and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, which kept law enforcement busy …

Law enforcement officers were kept busy in outer East Portland as they dealt with more violent people who were illegally using guns.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Starting in mid-afternoon, and continuing well into the evening, three different shooting incidents, in three different neighborhoods, put the already-limited Portland Police Bureau (PPB) resources to the test on Monday, March 8.

March 8 at 3:38 p.m.
Lents’ Foster Floodplain Natural Area shooting causes SERT callout

A number of unoccupied patrol cars are parked along  SE 110th Avenue; officers were in the Foster Floodplain Natural Area, tracking down a person seen running from the scene.

PPB East Precinct officers were sent to a call – dispatched as “Shooting – with Weapon” – at SE 110th Avenue, just south of Foster Road, on March 8 at 3:38 p.m.

Shortly, several PPB units were parked, unoccupied, along the road next to the Plaid Pantry store. Red crime-scene tape marked off a “car camp” on the western side of SE 110th Avenue – but at that time, no officers were visible.

“Arriving officers followed information available to them, and located a person suffering from an apparent gunshot wound,” PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Greg Pashley revealed about the incident. “That person was transported to the hospital by ambulance.”

While officers searched the area for a suspect, a possible suspect appeared and fled from them.

PPB officers were standing by an unoccupied Washington-plated black Chevrolet Camaro – thought to be connected to a suspect – was stopped, with passenger door open, facing west on SE Brookside Drive, at a point where the street dead-ends into where 110th Avenue curves and turns into 112th Avenue.

Two officers, one in the patrol car, stand watch, looking at the abandoned Chevrolet Camaro, left behind when the driver bolted from the car and ran from officers.

Officers set a containment area west and south of SE 110th Avenue near Foster Road – on land that comprises the unpopulated Foster Flood Plain Natural Area. It’s a heavily wooded property, with thick grass everywhere and Johnson Creek running through it.

Supervisors activated the PPB’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) to help comb this large area, eventually bringing in 31 officers in to search the rugged natural area.

The police dog, part of a K9 officer team assigned to SERT, did find the person who ran from officers, and was hiding within the perimeter at 6:06 p.m. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment of “superficial dog bites,” as Pashley put it.

“It’s not clear that this is necessarily the person involved in the shooting,” Pashley told reporters. “People run from police for a variety of reasons; anytime a person runs, it’s a cause for concern, especially while responding to a shooting.”

While not charged in connection with this shooting, 34-year-old Anthony Vernon Johnson was arrested for outstanding warrants in Clackamas County.

Arrested, but not charged in connection with the shooting at this time, was 34-year-old Anthony Vernon Johnson. After being released from medical treatment, Johnson was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 10:46 p.m. that evening on outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was transferred on March 9 into the custody of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

March 8 at 7:09 p.m.
Man with loaded gun arrested at Gateway Transit Center

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, officers are called to assist TriMet personnel with a man, behaving oddly – and found to be carrying a gun.

Just as officers were heading back from the preceding incident to resume patrol in their districts, a new gun-related call was dispatched on March 8 at 7:09 p.m. Officers were sent this time to the Gateway Transit Center, along NE 99th Avenue, between Multnomah and Pacific streets.

The TriMet MAX Light Rail control center relayed information regarding a man at the Transit Center who had stepped in front of a bus, as if he was intentionally trying to be run over; and they asked for medical, as well as police, assistance.

A PPB sergeant and officer arrived and attempted to speak with the man, seeking to gain his cooperation, for several minutes.

This is the gun they found on the strangely-behaving person at the Gateway Transit Center. PPB image

“Based on his behavior, it appeared to police that the man may have been in a drug-induced crisis,” a PPB official reported. “Finally, officers attempted to take the man into custody for Interfering with Public Transportation, but he resisted. Officers used pepper spray as the man resisted, and they were finally able to take him into custody.

“During their attempts to take him into custody, the officers felt the man holding onto an object they believed was a firearm,” the official continued. “After safely placing the man into custody, officers found the man to be in possession of a loaded handgun, which they placed into evidence.”

Arrested in this incident was this man, 24-year-old Mateo George Emerson. He was later released on to Clackamas County on an outstanding warrant.

The man, later identified as 24-year-old Mateo George Emerson, was taken to a hospital by ambulance for evaluation and possible treatment.

After a night’s stay at the hospital, Emerson was booked in the Multnomah County Detention Center on March 9 at 9:15 a.m. on charges of Interfering with Public Transportation—Disorderly Conduct, Interfering with a Police Officer, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and on a warrant from another county. He was released on March 11 into the custody of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office.

March 8 at 8:30 p.m.
Bullets strike Powellhurst-Gilbert home

SE Harold Street is closed off, while officers investigate shooting incident that left a house riddled with bullets.

Numerous callers to the 9-1-1 Center reported shots heard on March 8, which dispatched officers to another firearm-related call at about 8:30 p.m. to the area of SE 118th Avenue and Harold Street.

A person inside the residence reported that he thought he’d been struck by a bullet. But, “Arriving officers learned no one had been injured,” a PPB spokesperson revealed. Officers canvassing the area for witnesses and searching for evidence didn’t come up empty-handed – they found at least 14 shell casings. Shots had indeed been fired.

“There is no suspect information,” the bureau official commented.

Investigators would like to hear from anyone with information about this shooting. Please reference Case No. 21-62896, when you e-mail

Two more wounded on March 11

Although shootings wounded and killed several people, in other parts of the city over the following two days, gunfire again erupted on March 11.

March 11 at 9:05 p.m.
Man wounded in Powellhurst-Gilbert

Again on SE Harold Street, officers look for evidence, after a man is shot in the neighborhood.

After the report of a shooting along SE Harold Street, just east of SE 135th Avenue, multiple officers were dispatched to the area March 11 at 9:05 p.m.

Four minutes after the dispatch, PPB’s “Air 1” unit reported it was flying over the scene of the shooting. Within another six minutes, four ground units were at the location.

“One person, an adult male, was struck by a bullet in this shooting,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen. “The victim was taken to a local hospital, with what was said to be a non life threatening injury,” he told East Portland News.

The PPB’s Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) arrived later and took over the investigation. “No suspect information to release at this point,” Allen stated.

March 11 at 9:11 p.m.
Houses shot up, man wounded in Powellhurst-Gilbert shooting

Bullets riddle a house during this shooting, and wound one person.

PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched on March 11 at 9:11p.m. to the west edge of the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood to look into another “Shots Fired” call.

Along SE Kelly Street, just east of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, officers located one adult male victim with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was take to a local hospital with serious injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening,” Sgt. Allen noted.

“Officers found numerous bullets had pierced a home occupied by the victim and others; but, no one else was hurt,” Sgt. Allen said.

Again, another group with the PPB’s ECST was dispatched to investigate this crime.

While no suspect information is being released at this time, if you do have information, please e-mail it to and reference Case No. 21-66134

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Meantime, Portland’s law enforcement officers stand by for the next “Shots Fired” call, knowing the wait is not likely to be a long one.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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