Posted on April 6, 2021

Portland Police Overwhelmed by Nightly Gun Violence

Morgan Romero, KGW, March 31, 2021

Night after night, Portland’s streets see more violence and police say they’re overwhelmed.

Three people died in three separate incidents overnight.

Portland police say someone was shot at a convenience store in the 1900 block of North Lombard Street in the Kenton neighborhood around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.


A late-night shooting in Northeast Portland followed by a police chase and hours of negotiation ended with a suspect taking his own life in Southeast early Wednesday morning. {snip}

And around midnight in downtown Portland, police say a man was stabbed to death. {snip}

Police say the stabbing and shooting deaths bring the total to 25 homicides in Portland in the first three months of this year alone. At this time last year there were two homicides.

“These homicide detectives are essentially buried under cases,” Portland police Lt. Greg Pashley said. “It was very rare for us to have two in a week, much less two in a night in Portland, as part of the circumstances we’re living in right now, unfortunately.”

Data shows a huge spike in shooting incidents over the past year. There are double the number of shootings so far this year compared to this point in 2020, which was an historically high year.

The police bureau recently created an investigative team and added officers to respond to the surge.

“But, quite frankly, they can’t keep up,” Lt. Pashley said. “There are just too many shootings and they have to triage the shootings. {snip}”

The rise in homicides makes it challenging for officers to respond to other calls for service in the community, Pashley said.