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String of shootings in Portland's Mt Scott-Arleta neighborhood rattles neighbors

Police confirmed an increase in gunfire in the Southeast Portland neighborhood. They said they're focused on stopping it.

PORTLAND, Ore. — An uptick in gun violence in Southeast Portland's Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood has some residents on edge.

A woman who's lived in the area for years told KGW the neighborhood has its perks, like the towering trees in Mt. Scott Park. For her, those perks are starting to fade. 

"We can see kids go over to the park. We can see people walking their dogs and now I'm scared to death when I see them walk by to the park because I'm afraid they're going to get a bullet," she said. 

The woman did not want to identify herself because she is afraid of retaliation at the hands of whoever is responsible for all of the shootings in the area that seem to happen after dark. 

One neighbor captured audio of gunfire from an early September shooting.

Two weeks later, near Southeast 72nd and Woodstock, two bullets hit a car a mother and son were in. A Portland Parks & Recreation truck was also hit that night.

Credit: Mike Benner, KGW staff
This woman says she has called 911 seven times in September.

Just this past Wednesday night, shots were fired near Southeast 74th and Harold.

These are just a few of the examples of the recent gun violence, certainly not all of them.

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"It's pretty sad," the woman said. "I hit the floor, get the lights, get my phone for 911."

She told KGW she has called 911 more than a half-dozen times in September alone. Sgt. Kevin Allen of the Portland Police Bureau is not surprised.

"We have some neighborhoods where we just have a greater impact of gun violence and certainly Mt Scott and Arleta neighborhoods are there," he said.

According to Sgt. Allen, just last week police conducted a mission in the area. Officers seized a gun and a vehicle involved in recent shootings.

"We're working on it," Sgt. Allen said. "We're working in this neighborhood. We care this is impacting our community and we're doing the best we can."

Meanwhile, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has directed the Portland Bureau of Transportation to add some traffic barrels — indicating local access only — in hopes of deterring the gun violence and the speeding associated with it. These are issues that neighbors believe are connected to gangs.

Credit: Mike Benner, KGW staff
PBOT installed traffic barrels to deter criminal activity.

"I believe it's a combination but this is mostly gang activity, I think," neighbor Jim Weisgram said. "There are other things going on but I think the shooting is gangs struggling over turf."

Regardless of the motives, neighbors are taking drastic measures just to stay safe. The woman who wished to remain anonymous is thinking of moving after decades in the area.

"I am," she said. "I am. We are. This is terrifying. I can't function this way. I really can't."

RELATED: Director of North Portland daycare pleading for extra patrols following shooting