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There have also been 70 homicides in the city so far in 2021, tying the record set in 1987.

COURTESY PHOTO: PPB - Cars struck by bullets on the Portland=Gresham border on Saturday, Oct. 16Records are being broken and reset as shootings continue to surge in the metropolitan area. The Portland Police Bureau has now investigated more than 1,000 shootings so far this year compared to 891 in all of 2020.

Chief Chuck Lovell made the announcement in a Tweet on Saturday, Oct. 16. It said, "This week we passed a grim milestone. [The Portland Police Bureau] has now documented over 1,000 shootings this year. Too many have prematurely ended lives and caused injury. But all shootings cause trauma to our community."

One of the most recent shootings occurred on the border with Gresham around 12:48 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, near Southeast 165th and Main Street. Gresham police responded and found 57 casings and four live rounds in the area. Officers also discovered that two residences, four cars, one mailbox and one fence had been hit by bullets.

The Portland Police Bureau's Enhanced Community Safety Team responded to continue the investigation.

Lovell's announcement pushed the number of recorded shootings throughout Multnomah County well above last year's level with more than two months left in 2021. That includes Portland, Gresham and the remaining cities and unincorporated portions of the county patrolled by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

According to figures compiled by the Portland Tribune, there have been at least 1,166 shootings and 80 homicides in all of the county so far this year. That compares to 1,002 shootings and 57 homicides in the county in all of 2020.

The majority of homicides are shootings. An online data dashboard of shootings maintained by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office shows the victims are disproportionately people of color. Since 2019, 46% of the victims have been racial minorities despite representing only around 31% of county residents. A recent analysis by The Oregonians found that more than half those killed in Portland are Black, Latino or Asian.

The Portland Police Bureau reports the highest number of shootings and homicides by far. In addition to the 1,000-plus shootings announced by Lovell, there have now been 70 homicides, tying the record set in 1987. That compares 55 homicides last year.

Portland's homicide rise this year follows an 83% increase in killings between 2019 and 2020, according to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report released on Sept. 27.

"I don't have the words to convey to these families about how sorry I am for them and I know that every detective in the homicide division feels that way and I'm sure that they wish that they could do more," said Portland Officer Derek Carmon.

The Gresham Police Department has reported 124 shootings and 10 homicides so far this year. That compares to 103 shootings and two homicides in 2020.

And the sheriff's office reports 31 shootings and one homicide in the unincorporated parts of the county and the cities of Fairview, Maywood Park, Troutdale and Wood Village this year. That compares to eight shootings and no homicides in 2020.

This situation in Portland is not unique. The similarly-sized cities of Denver, Washington, D.C., Boston and Milwaukee all saw spikes in murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in 2020 compared to the previous year. But, according to the FBI, the city's 2020 increase was almost three times the national average.

Shootings and homicides are up despite an increasing number of firearm seizures. Portland police report seizing over 900 guns so far this year — more than in all of 2020. They include 11 seized in just two days in late September. The sheriff's office reports seizing more than 800 firearms so far this year, including nearly 400 at two Clackamas County homes.


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