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'We're living in a lawless town': Friend of man killed in Southeast Portland wants answers

Portland police said a man was fatally shot Wednesday in Powellhurst-Gilbert; family identified the man as Dejohntae Campbell.

PORTLAND, Ore. — We're hearing from the friend of a man who was shot and killed Wednesday night in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood. 

Shawnte Harris said he wants answers as police continue to search for a suspect in the murder of  40-year-old Dejohntae Campbell. Campbell was shot to death Wednesday night in Southeast Portland

Portland police have not said if this was a random or targeted shooting, but we do know officers responded to a report of shots fired Wednesday night on Southeast Bush Street near Southeast 134th Avenue. They said the shooter or shooters took off and confirmed one person was dead. No arrests have been made.

RELATED: Police: One dead in Southeast Portland shooting

"We're living in a lawless town, basically," Harris said. "The police are going to the crime scene and putting their little numbers at where the bullets were, and then they clean up the scene and then it's off to the next one because there's already another in progress."

Since 2020, the uptick of fatal violence in Portland has been rapid and unprecedented. Police cite a lack of resources — fewer patrol officers and overworked homicide detectives can't keep up with the caseload.

"You know everybody said, defund the police ... well, this is what we got, so now what are we going to do?" said Harris. 

As he mourns the loss of Campbell, Harris also pleads for the end of gun violence, saying he just wants people to come together. 

Correction: A previous version of this story referred to Harris as Campbell's cousin. Campbell's close family members say that Harris was a family friend but not a cousin. 

RELATED: One dead in Southeast Portland shooting on SE Bush Street

RELATED: Portland officer shoots man witnesses say was firing gun 'wildly' in neighborhood

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