Police: Crashed, stolen car involved in shooting near Jefferson High School

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 3:20 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Police have seized a vehicle near Jefferson High School believed to be involved in a shooting that injured two students Tuesday afternoon.

According to authorities, detectives are confirming their belief that a white Hyundai, found crashed just after 4 p.m. on Northeast Alberta Street between Northeast Vancouver Avenue and Northeast Williams Avenue, was involved in the shooting that occurred near Jefferson High School. The Hyundai was later confirmed to have been stolen and the occupants had fled the scene.

SEE ALSO: 2 students injured after shooting near Jefferson High School; classes canceled Wednesday

Detectives seized the vehicle, collecting evidence found inside.

North Precinct officers were first dispatched at 3:59 p.m. to 5200 Block of North Kerby Avenue after someone reported hearing gunshots followed by lots of yelling near the school Tuesday afternoon.

Police arrived, finding evidence that shots had been fired just outside the school’s gym, before discovering a male student inside the school with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg.

After investigation, officers learned the student was outside when he was shot, before fleeing into the building.

According to PPB, a female student may also have suffered a graze wound to her hand which is being investigated.

SEE ALSO: Pedestrian dies after being hit by vehicle on Highway 26

“It’s very concerning when violence like this affects our kids. I’m just grateful there was no loss of life today,” said Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “I know our investigators will continue to review any information and I urge anyone who knows anything to come forward.”

Portland Public Schools released a statement shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday confirming the two students received non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting. Classes at Jefferson High School were canceled for Wednesday.

A grandparent of a Jefferson High student says his granddaughter witnessed the terrifying moment outside the school’s gym.

“She was right there pretty much in the mix of things and took a dive under a bush,” said Wesley Johnson, Sr. “Doing the best she could to not get hurt.”

Johnson says he and his family have all attended Jefferson High for multiple generations, and is saddened to see how a worsening gun violence problem in the city is impacting the high school he and his family love.

“An erosion of values, moral values, ethical values in general, right? It’s affecting the whole of society.”

The Portland Public Schools superintendent, Guadalupe Guerrero, sent a message to families to assure them the district is doing everything in its power to keep students safe. The message reads in part:

As educators, we strive to foster joyful, safe learning environments where our students will be inspired. A violent intrusion like this disrupts that important work in the building where it happened, but also across all our district communities. We are here for our community with a variety of resources and supports for anyone experiencing anxiety, trauma, and distress.

I also understand our students and families have safety concerns, given very concerning current local circumstances and national events. I want to assure you that we have clear steps to assess threats and ensure safety. I’m proud of how quickly, thoroughly, and compassionately our central office and Jefferson leaders responded yesterday. I certainly hope we don’t have any future instances requiring us to mobilize again, but please know: we are ready to do what we must to keep our students safe. We will continue to proactively mobilize anytime an emergency circumstance requires our full attention; this includes working closely with the Portland Police Bureau and other partners to ensure student and school safety.

Yesterday’s shooting is also an opportunity for all of us to talk to our students about how much we care for them – about our belief in their brilliance, and our desire that they live full, safe lives. Let us remain committed to lifting each other up, supporting each other, and creating positive learning spaces for our amazing, inspiring students.

Portland Public Schools Announced Wednesday afternoon there will be two or three extra school campus security staff on-site at Jefferson High School Thursday and Friday.

PPS has also asked the Portland Police Bureau to up their patrols around Jefferson during students’ arrival and dismissal.

For Wesley Johnson, he says his granddaughter was still prepared for a normal school day Wednesday despite what happened.

“It wouldn’t have bothered her that much to come to class, but that’s part of the problem,” he said. “It’s not normal, it’s abnormal, and it’s a real traumatic type of situation.”

PPS urged anyone with information to contact the Portland Police Bureau at 503-823-3333, referring to case # 22-280110.