Concerns surrounding downtown Portland safety after deadly weekend shooting

Image: KPTV

Some people who live and work in southwest Portland are on edge after another violent crime in the core downtown area. It happened Sunday evening on Southwest 4th Avenue and Stark Street.

Katie Marker was working at Classic Collection Cats when the bullets started flying.“Well, it sounded like six or seven shots,” said Marker.Police said 24-year-old Aaron Birt shot a man on the street, sending him to the hospital, but he did not make it. The victim was identified Monday as 30-year-old Ellante Davone Williams of Portland

Marker has an emergency plan in place, but lately, she said crime in the area has gotten worse.“We get some sketchy people hanging out on the corners,” said Marker. “But generally, with Clean and Safe only a phone call away, I’m not too terribly worried. But hearing the gunshots was a little close to home for me.”Sunday’s shooting comes after several violent crimes downtown in the last two months – including a sexual assault at Fuel Yoga on Southwest 2nd and Yamhill and a robbery and assault at the TK Grocery on 3rd and Stark.

Portland Police statistics show assaults downtown are up from one year ago, but robberies are down.

Lisa Pollard works at the Oregon Made shop, her can of pepper spray within reach. Whether statistics show it or not, Pollard feels less safe downtown than she did 20 years ago and the homeless problem is a big factor.“The city just seems like they keep moving them around and that’s all that happens," she said. But for Pollard – a long time Portlander – a little spike in crime isn’t going to scare her away.“I will keep living my life and we love our shop and I believe Portland will turn it around," she said. Birt made his first court appearance Monday and he is charged with murder. He is being held in jail without bail.

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