Two dead, one wounded in three area shootings

UPDATE: Police identify the man wanted for murdering Shai-India Harris, in Lents.  Three days, three gun violence incidents in outer East Portland leads to two murders, and one person wounded, in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods …

Police are again called to yet another scene of gun violence – this one in broad daylight – in the Lents neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

While weeks of nightly rioting in downtown Portland make headlines for broadcast news, the TV cameras are generally overlooking the gun violence in southern outer East Portland neighborhoods. It was deadly last week.

-2 On SE 84th Avenue, just north of Flavel Street, officers, standing near bullet casing markers, exchange the information they’ve learned about the murder of an 18-year-old woman.

High school grad murdered near Lents home

This article has been updated; see below …

On July 10, at 12:44 p.m., Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched to SE 84th Avenue, just north of Flavel Street, to investigate a report of a person being shot.

Witnesses told reporters they saw a man talking with a young woman when a car pulled up, and then one to four shots were fired. The man drove off – and the woman, with a severe gunshot wound, lay bleeding to death in the street.

“Me and another neighbor were there with her, and they had their hand on her heart to make sure she was still breathing,” a neighbor told reporters. “I held her hand and told her ‘they’re coming, they’re coming. Just hang on’.”

Family and friends of the murdered teen embrace, as a memorial to 18-year-old Shai-India Harris grows near where she was slain in the street.

“The female victim in this homicide has been identified as 18-year-old Shai-India Harris,” said PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Tina Jones. “The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined the victim died from a gunshot wound.”

Family members were too distraught to speak with media, but – from the memorial that soon appeared – it became clear that Harris had only recently graduated from high school.

“We were planning her graduation celebration; but now, the family is planning a funeral,” remarks a friend the Harris, after placing her photo on a fence.

“Is this really a good time for Police Commissioner, [Mayor] Ted Wheeler, to cancel the police ‘Gun Violence’ squad?” neighbor Shawna Beeterson asked rhetorically to East Portland News, as she watched the Medical Examiner’s truck pull away.

“Maybe everything is cool in ‘The Pearl’, where [Mayor] Wheeler lives, but it sure seems like more and more people are dying from shooting – and I’m pretty sure it isn’t ‘law-abiding citizens’ who are doing the shooting in East Portland,” Beeterson remarked.

Homicide Detectives and officers investigate this shooting.

In fact, PPB officials have said that shootings are up 240% year-over-year from July of last year. CLICK HERE to see last week’s compendium of shootings.

UPDATE:

-10 Wanted for the murder of Shai-India Harris is this man, 18-year-old Kceon Colbert.

Updated July 31: The Portland Police Bureau is seeking the public’s help to locate 18-year-old Kceon Colbert, who is wanted for the murder of Shai-India Harris. Colbert is described as 5’08” tall and 150 pounds.

“PPB would prefer for Mr. Colbert to safely turn himself in: but, if anyone sees him we ask for you to immediately call 911,” said PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Greg Pashley.

Anyone with information of his recent whereabouts, please call Detective Michael Greenlee at 503 823-0871, or Michael.greenlee@portlandoregon.gov, or Detective Brad Clifton at 503-823-0696 or brad.clifton@portlandoregon.gov.

 

Same day, another murder: in Powellhurst-Gilbert

As the sun sets, police close down this outer East Portland street, after a teenager is found fatally shot.

Later on that same Friday, July 10, just after 9:00 p.m., PPB officers were called to investigate the report of another shooting – this one in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, along SE 136th Avenue, near Powell Boulevard.

“A male subject was found deceased at the scene,” reported returning Public Information Officer Lieutenant Greg Pashley.

Police closed down SE 136th Avenue, from Division Street to Powell Boulevard, while the investigation got underway.

The Medical Examiner’s truck arrives to recover the body of another murder victim.

“I’m afraid to go out anymore,” Billy Williams commented to East Portland News, while waiting for permission to return to his home, on the closed-off street. “If the COVID [coronavirus] don’t get ya, it looks like bullets will.”

“The victim in this homicide has been identified as 19-year-old Julian Heredia,” Lt. Pashley later revealed. “The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim died from a gunshot wound.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Brad Clifton at (503) 823-0696, or brad.clifton@portlandoregon.gov; or, Detective Michael Greenlee at (503) 823-0871, or by email at  Michael.greenlee@portlandoregon.gov.

Man wounded two days later, also on SE 136th Avenue

A police cruiser again closes off on SE 136th Avenue at Powell Boulevard, after yet another shooting.

On the Sunday evening of July 12, at 10:55 p.m., PPB officers were again dispatched to a shooting in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood; about midway between SE Division Street and Powell Boulevard, again on 136th Avenue.

“This dispatch was to investigate the report of multiple gunshots,” explained PPB Public Information Officer Derek Carmon.

“Upon arrival, officers found an adult male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds; the victim was transported to a local area hospital, and is expected to survive,” disclosed Carmon.

“This investigation is ongoing and PPB is asking for the public’s help. If anyone has information about the shooting, please call Detectives at 503-823-0400.”

Police Chief ‘deeply disturbed’

In an online statement, commenting on recent gun violence in outer East Portland, is PPB Chief Chuck Lovell.

“I am deeply disturbed by the loss of life our city has seen in such a short time,” said new PPB Chief Chuck Lovell, in a prepared statement. “Please help our investigators with tips and information as we pursue those responsible.”

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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