PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a shooting in Old Town that sent one juvenile to the hospital. The shooting created panic at a nearby nightclub where people were celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Just before 2 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to Northwest Davis Street for a report of shots fired.
They learned someone shot multiple times into a car, hitting a juvenile passenger. The passenger was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Other people in the car told police they did not know the shooter nor why the person shot at them.
Inside CC Slaughters Nightclub, the Pride celebrations took a turn.
"People started running to the middle of the dancefloor, then people got down on the ground," described Eric Gregory, who was at the club, visiting from Seattle.
Gregory took cellphone video in which nightclub staff can be heard trying to keep everyone calm.
"Everybody, please stay down. We are okay, we are okay..." a staff member said.
"I think it went through everyone's mind that this is like Pulse Nightclub," Gregory said.
In June 2016, during Pride celebrations in Orlando, a gunman targeted LGBTQ+ people at Pulse Nightclub, killing 49 and injuring more than 50 others.
For many, that massacre and collective trauma are carried with them during Pride.
At CC Slaughters, Gregory said people anxiously watched the front door.
"Scared to death, comforting each other," he recalled. "Felt like a community, felt like a community on the floor.
Several agonizing minutes later, everyone was able to evacuate safely.
It appeared the shooting did not target CC Slaughters Nightclub. Information from police suggested shots were fired into the street, and that several shots fired reports could be linked to the same shooter.
"They placed 29 markers [for] bullet casings," Gregory said.
Officers have not made an arrest for the shooting.
Although the incident was scary for many in the area, Gregory said it gave him more resolve to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities and resilience.
"I still got up and went to Pride because I wanted to be there for my community like it was there for me," he said.