PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - With more than 630 shootings so far this year, Portlanders, like Jayme Leeb, aren’t too surprised gun violence has nearly doubled since this time last year.
But when it hits close to home, that’s when it becomes more than just a statistic.
Leeb said her 20-year-old son was walking home from the grocery store on Friday when he nearly got caught up in a drive-by shooting near Gateway Discovery Park and felt a bullet whiz by his head.
“He got home, and he was scared to death - panicked, shaking, crying, we called 911,” Leeb said Sunday. “He said if he had been one inch the other direction, it would have hit him.”
“I was terrified for him; it was horrifying,” Leeb added.
Portland police said officers responded to the park to investigate the shooting but could not find any evidence of gunfire. A bureau spokesman said call notes indicated that some witnesses believed a car may have backfired instead of a shooting.
Police said another drive-by shooting near Southeast 82nd Avenue and Foster Road hit a person filling up at a gas station, grazing the person’s ankle and also hitting the car and gas pump.
Early Sunday morning near Southeast 162nd Avenue and Haig Street, a car with three people – including a 6-year-old girl – was sprayed by bullets when police say another driver fired into their car.
Fortunately, nobody got hurt in that shooting.
Police data, just updated Friday, shows shootings are up in each of the city’s three precincts. The biggest spike was reported in the East Precinct, where gun violence has more than doubled since last year.
“I’ve noticed there haven’t been as many patrols in the last year as there should be,” Leeb said.
As a life-long Portlander, Leeb said she doesn’t have the answers to solving gun violence but she’s glad her son is okay and wants the city to be safer.
“I just wish things would get better in Portland," Leeb said. “I would love to feel comfortable anywhere in Portland."
Police are looking for suspects in the shootings. Anyone with information should contact the Portland Police Bureau.
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