PORTLAND -- A 5-year-old child was shot in the leg Tuesday evening in Southeast Portland, the unintended victim of gang gunfire, according to police.
Officers responded to a call just before 9 p.m. at the Laurel Place Apartments in the 12500 block of Powell Boulevard, said Sgt. Pete Simpson.
The child was visiting his grandparents and swimming in their community pool when the shots rang out. He had just gotten out of the pool when the bullet hit him in the leg, his grandfather Byron Brown, Sr. told KGW.
Everyone scrambled when the gunfire erupted and the boy, also named Byron, almost made it into his grandparents' apartment when he was hit.
"Just everybody that was out here just started running different ways and they just kept shooting," Brown said. "It was after about the third shot when I realized he [Byron] was hit. They were still shooting when I was running to him."
Bystanders put a tourniquet on Byron's leg as they waited for paramedics to arrive. The five-year-old was expected to survive and he was getting treated at an area hospital Wednesday.
No one else was hurt, but rounds struck an apartment building, Simpson said.
Mayor Charlie Hales said he feels the shootings in Portland have become a public health crisis.
"I'm horrified and outraged by the act of violence [that injured the child] itself. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family victimized by this terrible event,"he said. "I ask everyone in our community to take a stand on the issues of gang violence prevention and illegal gun violence by coming forward to provide information on the shooters."
He suggested that if community members cooperate, police can get these dangerous, reckless criminals off the streets.
Gunfire also erupted at the same apartment complex in November, 2013 and a woman named Precious Antanaye Jackson, 24, was killed.
Investigators were asking for the public's help in combating gang and gun violence. Anyone with information should call the Portland Police Bureau Tactical Operations Division at 503-823-4106.
Tips on gun crimes can be emailed to GunTaskForce@portlandoregon.gov.