Spike in gang shootings leaves Portland neighbors on edge


Gang-related shootings in Portland are up slightly so far this year, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Fox 12 requested the data Thursday following a string of shootings in recent weeks.

Since January, there’s been 25 gang-related shootings – that’s five more shootings than this time last year.

Several of the shootings occurred within the last few days, and gang-enforcement officers believe many of them could be connected to a downtown shooting in January that left a gang member dead.

Officers said rival gangs are retaliating to avenge the death.

Neighbors along Northeast Morgan Street awoke to gunfire twice in recent weeks, with the latest shooting on Saturday morning.

Matt Cartwright lives next-door to a home riddled with bullets.

“It was just rapid gunfire. We woke up and my wife was like, ‘that’s gunshots,’” Cartwright said. “To have gunshots in your neighborhood, it’s kind of alarming.”

Nobody was hurt in the shooting, but a car outside the home was also hit by the gunfire.

A couple blocks away, there was another gang-related shooting in February.

Fox 12 spoke to a neighbor who didn’t feel safe being identified.

“It was about three in the morning and I heard what sounded like a war,” she said. “Somebody had apparently shot 15 shots into that apartment building across the way.”

The woman said she moved to Portland from New York just over a year ago, but felt safer in the Big Apple.

“There’s just been one thing after another,” she said about her new Portland home. “I was terrified for a few nights -- there were a few nights where I had trouble sleeping.”

Now, she’s considering moving.

“I do think twice about staying. I’m in a rental and I do think it’s possible will look into another space when our lease is up,” she said.

A gang shooting Wednesday night in the Montavilla neighborhood left a man with serious injuries and stunned neighbors who witnessed the shooting in broad daylight.

Several neighbors were on their porches or in their yards when the gunfire broke out.

“The collateral damage doesn’t seem to matter,” one neighbor told Fox 12 Wednesday.

Portland police are looking for suspects in the shootings.

Tipsters can remain anonymous and there are several ways to share information with officers. You can submit a tip here: www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/586542

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