Breaking News
More () »

Portland sees another record-breaking year for homicides in 2022

Like 2021 before it, 2022 was the deadliest year in Portland's modern history — the continuation of a spike that began four years ago.

KGW Staff, Megan Johnson, Jamie Parfitt

Play Video

Close Video

Published: 5:51 PM PST March 11, 2022
Updated: 8:29 PM PST December 31, 2022

With a deadly stabbing at an apartment building on Dec. 10, Portland reached a grim milestone for 2022 — surpassing 2021's record-setting 90 homicides and making this, once again, the deadliest year in Portland's modern history. The city continues to face a surge in gun violence, and most of the homicide victims died in shootings.

As the year came to a close, the Portland Police Bureau reported a total of 96 confirmed homicides throughout 2022. Of those, 78 were shooting deaths.

Just over half of homicide cases, 53%, were considered "cleared" by PPB — meaning a suspect was taken into custody, a suspect was identified but had already died, or the homicide was found to be non-criminal in nature.

As a result, 45 homicide cases from 2022 alone remain open and under investigation. Two other cases counted in the homicide total happened in Portland but were being investigated by agencies other than PPB.

Due to the sustained rise in murders, PPB expanded its homicide unit in 2022 to include 24 detectives and three sergeants, or three teams of eight investigators. Regardless, according to Sgt. Kevin Allen with Portland police, the workload has increased at such a rate that detectives have struggled to keep up.

In a "normal year," Allen said, an individual homicide detective would have no more than four homicide cases where they would serve as a primary investigator due to the amount of work that goes along with it. But since July of 2020, PPB homicide detectives have averaged between seven and eight cases as primary each year.

"The strain extends beyond our Homicide Unit," Allen added. "Every homicide takes a significant number of patrol resources to secure the scene and locate and preserve evidence and witnesses. Criminalists from the Forensic Evidence Division send a team to every one of those cases. Plus there’s workload on the Medical Examiner and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, who also respond."

And PPB detectives respond to other cases that don't end up being counted as homicides, Allen said. Those include cases where law enforcement used deadly force — both Portland police and other local agencies — suspicious death investigations, attempted murders, kidnappings and other forms of assistance to neighboring agencies.

In 2022, PPB's homicide unit was called out to respond more than 120 times, Allen said.

Though Portland police have tracked the number of cases that they count as homicides, not all of them are associated with a victim they've publicly identified as yet, and they do not count people killed by law enforcement. There have been nine shootings involving Portland police this year, the most since the agency began posting this data in 2010. Four of them were fatal.

KGW has attempted to track every identified victim of homicide in Portland throughout 2022, including police killings. As a result, KGW's list may not match PPB's running total. The victims have been ordered based on when they were identified, which can sometimes happen weeks or even months after their deaths. There are at least five 2022 homicide victims that have not been publicly identified.

The following is what we know about the men and women who have been killed in the city of Portland this year.

This list will continue to be updated. If you have a photo of a victim or would like to share more information please email KGW here

If you have any information about any of the following cases, you can submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Oregon here

Before You Leave, Check This Out