Anti-violence advocate reacts to shooting at NE Portland McDonal - KPTV - FOX 12

Anti-violence advocate reacts to shooting at NE Portland McDonald’s

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Crime scene at McDonald's restaurant at Northeast 103rd and Halsey Street in Portland. (KPTV) Crime scene at McDonald's restaurant at Northeast 103rd and Halsey Street in Portland. (KPTV)
Laurie Palmer, an anti-violence advocate in Portland. (KPTV) Laurie Palmer, an anti-violence advocate in Portland. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland Police announced Tuesday four people have been arrested – including two juveniles – after a shooting at a northeast Portland McDonald’s that left two people in the hospital.

The shooting happened Monday, at the restaurant near NE 102nd and Halsey. Police believe two groups were exchanging gunfire, and the Gang Enforcement Team is investigating.

Most of the people involved – the shooters and the victims – are teenagers.

“Oh, we’re past fed up with it,” said Laurie Palmer.

Palmer is an anti-violence advocate who knows all too well what shootings like this do to families.

Her own son was shot in January of 2015.

“He’s still recovering, that’s a long process. I mean, he was shot 6 times,” she said. “The family’s still recovering, me as a parent, I’m still going through my own emotional stuff.”

Palmer came to the McDonald’s after the shooting Monday, which comes one day after nearly 48 rounds were fired into three homes in North Portland.

“What goes through my mind first is sadness, and second is what can I do about it to be part of the change? And that’s why you see me showing up, that’s why you see me talking,” she told Fox 12.

Palmer started a coalition after her son was shot called “Go Get Your Child,” aiming to eliminate violence through community partnerships.

The issue of gang violence was also one of the main topics Mayor Charlie Hales addressed in his State of The City speech in March.

2015 was a record year in Portland for gang and youth violence. According to the Mayor’s speech, there were 193 instances of gang violence in the city involving 185 shootings. 1,186 bullet casings were found at scenes in which 73 people were shot. 15 of them were killed.

“We need to do more than react,” Mayor Hales said at the time. “We must get upstream in the lives of kids, reach them, one by one, and help them, one by one, over the hurdles that block their success.”

Palmer agrees.

She says police alone can’t fix this problem; it takes the community as a whole to prevent it.

“This violence is from the school to the streets to McDonald’s, it’s all over,” she added. “So we can’t just say it’s gangs, it’s violence period.”

She invites parents and community members to attend an event on April 20 at Refuge PDX to talk about violence in the community and how to resolve it. To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/GoGetYourChild.

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