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More people have been killed in Multnomah County in 2021 than last year, and Portland is on track to break its record, too.

COURTESY PJOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Portland police on the scene of a shooting.Shootings and homicides are already up throughout Multnomah County over 2020, with three more months to go in the year.

That includes shootings and homicides in Portland, Gresham and the remaining cities and unincorporated portions of the county patrolled by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

According to figures complied by the Portland Tribune, there were at least 1,115 shootings and 79 homicides in all of the county by the end of September. That compares to 1,002 shootings and 55 homicides in the county in all of last year.

The Portland Police Bureau reports the highest number of shootings and homicides by far. By the end of September, the bureau has reported 963 shootings and 68 homicides. That compares to 891 shootings and 57 homicides last year.

Portland is on track to break the record of 70 homicides set in 1987. Although exact figures are not available, most homicides are by firearms.

The Gresham Police Department reports has reported 122 shootings and 10 homicides so far this year. That compares to 103 shootings and two homicides in 2020.

And the sheriff's office reports 30 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.

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 funds seized in just two days last week. The sheriff's office reports seizing more than 800 firearms so far this year, including nearly 400 at two Clackamas County homes.

Data from the FBI's 2020 Uniform Crime Report published Monday show the number of Portland homicides rose nearly 83% from the previous year. The increase is almost three times the national increase of 30% documented in the report released on Sept. 27.

The FBI uses slightly different figures. According to the report, there were 53 homicides reported in Portland last year compared to 29 in 2019. The number of homicides reported in 2020 is more than double the number in 2018 and 2017.

This problem is not unique to Portland. 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.


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