Portland sees 6 shootings in 9 hours
As gun violence rages in Portland, police in Oregon’s largest city responded to six shootings in nine hours between Thursday night and early Friday.
The shootings included a car chase, during which suspects shot an officer. Three people were arrested and the policeman was not injured.
Although last year saw a record number of gun violence incidents in Portland, the number of shooting incidents in the first month of 2022 topped January 2021, according to police data.
In January alone, police recorded 127 shootings. So far this year, at least 22 people have been shot and injured and there have been at least 13 homicides.
In 2021, the city recorded 90 homicides amid a spike in gun violence, breaking the city’s previous record of 66 set more than three decades ago.
Last year, the number of homicides in Portland surpassed more populous cities such as San Francisco and Boston – and more than double the number of murders in its larger Pacific Northwest neighbor, Seattle.
Murders have increased in Portland in recent years. From 2019 to 2020, Portland saw a bigger increase in murders — an 83% increase — than almost any major city. Nationally, homicides have increased nearly 30% over the same time, according to FBI data.
Police and city officials say last year’s surge – which disproportionately impacted Portland’s black community – was fueled by arguments related to gangs, drug deals gone wrong and disputes between homeless people. The situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, economic hardship and mental health crises.