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Portland sets new record for homicides in a year with 72 after double murder in Old Town

A man was arrested for fatally shooting another man and a woman Sunday morning; police say that makes 72 homicides, breaking a Portland record set in 1987.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Sunday morning shooting in Old Town put 2021 in the record books for most homicides in Portland in a year, Portland police said. The man and woman killed Sunday morning will be the 71st and 72nd to die by homicide pending the medical examiner's report, police said. 

That passes the old Portland record of 70 homicides set in 1987, with more than two months left to go in 2021. The record technically fell even before today, as the 1987 homicide count includes four fatal shootings by law enforcement. The police killing of Robert Delgado is not included in their count of 72. 

"Bottom line, we’re rewriting the record this year," said police spokesman Kevin Allen.

On Sunday around 6:25 a.m., Portland Police Bureau officers responded to a report of shots fired from inside an apartment building on the 300 block of Northwest 6th Avenue. 

When officers arrived, they located two victims, an adult male an adult female. Both were declared dead by paramedics.

An adult male believed to be involved in the incident remained on scene and officers detained him. Just after 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Portland police announced it had arrested 45-year-old Michael VanDomelen on two counts of first degree murder.

If anyone has information about this shooting, they're asked to contact Det. Jeff Pontius Jeffery.Pontius@portlandoregon.gov or Det. Steve Gandy Stephen.Gandy@portlandoregon.gov.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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