PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police say that two people were hospitalized after a reported shooting in the St. Johns area of North Portland late Friday afternoon — the second instance of gunfire in that area within the space of a single day, and one of 10 shootings throughout the city within that 24-hour period.
A Portland Police Bureau (PPB) spokesman said that officers responded for reports of a shooting just before 4:30 p.m. to the area of North Midway Avenue and North Richards Street. When they arrived, officers found evidence of gunfire but no apparent victims.
Later that day, a woman suffering from a gunshot wound arrived at the hospital in a private vehicle. PPB said that her injuries were serious but are not believed to be life-threatening.
Also after the initial call, police responded to a report from the 9600 block of North Columbia that someone had been shot. That person, a man, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were likewise not believed to be life-threatening.
PPB said that both injuries are believed to be connected to the Midway shooting. Investigators from the Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) and Focused Intervention Team (FIT) responded to follow up on the case.
According to a later police statement, the shooting happened outside of a homeless camp after a verbal fight. The woman was hit by a stray round as she was coming out of a tent just behind the intended targets. The man was one of the intended targets and was hit as well, but had a less serious injury and was soon treated and released from the hospital.
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting, PPB said.
Early Friday morning, Portland police had responded to another report of a shooting, this one at a home near North Columbia Boulevard and North Bank Street. PPB said that officers found a man dead inside the home.
No arrests have been made in the earlier case, and PPB made no indication that the two shootings were connected despite their proximity — just a few blocks away from one another.
According to Portland police, these two shootings in St. Johns were among 10 different shooting incidents within a 24-hour period across the city. Ten people were hit in all, with one killed. Two were unintended targets, according to PPB.
The very first shooting happened just before 3 a.m. on Friday morning near Southeast 128th Avenue and Southeast Sherman. A fight broke out between a group of people when someone fired a gun, hitting and wounding two people involved. One person suffered critical, life-threatening injuries, while another person received a serious injury that is not believed to be life-threatening. ECST responded to investigate.
Less than an hour later, in the 700 block of Northeast 92nd Avenue, someone confronted thieves who were breaking into a vehicle. The suspects responded with gunfire, but there were no injuries. The suspects got away, and officers responded to seize evidence.
Just before 6 a.m., in the 7900 block of Northeast 21st Avenue, an employee of a business there was going to move a scrap metal dumpster when they found someone sleeping inside, PPB said. When the worker asked the person to leave so that they could move the dumpster, there was an argument "during which a shot was fired." The suspect ran away and police did not locate them.
After the homicide in St. Johns just after 6 a.m., there were a few hours before the next incident. Around 12:30 p.m., there were reports of a disturbance near Northeast 104th Avenue and Northeast Wygant that were reportedly related to a stolen vehicle and a possible shot fired. Officers went to the area to collect evidence, but found no victims or suspects.
The shooting in St. Johns outside of the homeless camp happened next. Minutes after that, in the 3700 block of Southeast 71st Avenue, officers responded to reports of a disturbance with shots fired. They arrived to find a crime scene and evidence, but the only known victim walked into a hospital later. They've since been released, PPB said.
Next, just before 11 p.m., officers responded to Southeast Holgate and Southeast 113th Avenue for another gunshot victim who walked into a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. The victim reported that they were robbed at gunpoint and were shot when they struggled with the suspect. Police were unable to find the crime scene and could not corroborate the story.
At 12:20 a.m., there were reported of an exchange of gunfire in the 7000 block of Northeast 11th Avenue. PPB said over 20 shell casings were recovered, and gunfire had struck three unoccupied vehicles and an occupied home.
"An occupant of that home, a 62-year-old female, was asleep in bed when a round penetrated the residence and struck her," PPB said.
The woman was treated at a hospital for injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. Investigators do not believe she was an intended target of the shooting.
"Critical incidents such as these take a significant number of police resources to respond and investigate, and the Portland Police Bureau is aware that many lower priority calls do not get a timely response," the agency said in a statement. "We are grateful for the patience from the community as we work through the calls."
Finally, just after 1 a.m., there was a shooting in the 4800 block of Southeast Hawthorne Street. Two people were injured and PPB said that there was damage to nearby homes. One of the victims had serious but not life-threatening injuries, while the other was critically injured.
Portland is on pace to break the record for number of homicides for the second time in two years. In 2021, 90 people were killed across the city. That was up from 57 homicides in 2020, and a sharp increase from 36 homicides in 2019.
The vast majority of recent homicides have been incidents of gun violence.
According to data from the FBI, Portland saw an 83% increase in killings between 2019 and 2020. At the same time nationally, homicides increased nearly 30%.