Spike in gang violence draws concern

Spike in gang violence draws concern

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by Tim Gordon, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 11, 2013 at 6:15 PM

PORTLAND – A recent spike in gang-related shootings has neighbors on edge and gang unit detectives working overtime.

Portland Police say there have been four gang shootings since the weekend. In Gresham, there were two shootings, including one that killed a 21-year-old man with gang ties.

So far, Gresham police have not ruled the shootings in their city gang-related, but gang detectives are working on both cases.

The most recent shooting in Gresham sprayed bullets into the Sunset Station Apartments, and one woman was grazed by a bullet that came though her wall. Another shooting Sunday night killed 21-year-old Andreas Jones in Gresham’s Rockwood area.

“I know the citizens in the Rockwood area are particularly concerned. There has been some gang violence in that area that's kind of been pushed out from the Portland area,” said Gresham City Councilor Jerry Hinton.

Portland Police are concerned about the spike in gang shootings, but also point to an improvement in gun related violence involving gangs so far this year.

Sergeant Pete Simpson said the city has had 39 gang shootings so far this year, compared to 62 as of this time last year.

“Our detectives in the past couple of years have made great cases against people involved in gang activity and they are locked up awaiting trial or they’re convicted and put away,” said Simpson.

But with summer coming, law enforcement and citizen concerns are rising.

“It’s very frustrating because like I said there’s a lot of kids out here and a lot of the people getting killed they’re kids themselves,” said Zainab Cole of Gresham.

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