A mass shooting in downtown Portland, shortly before last call on Saturday morning, killed an 18-year-old woman and injured six others near a line of food carts in what police described as “an extremely chaotic scene.”
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the killing, along with another fatal shooting four hours later in the Parkrose neighborhood, in deep Northeast Portland, marked the city’s 50th and 51st homicides of the year. Portland saw 55 homicides in 2020, a 26-year record but one on pace to be broken by the end of July.
In the past 36 hours, Lovell said, Portland had 11 shooting incidents, killing two people and injuring at least 11.
In a press conference this afternoon, Lovell and Mayor Ted Wheeler described the Police Bureau as unprepared and outmatched by a wave of gunfire across the city.
“What we need is a plan,” Wheeler said. “The plan has to acknowledge that the public safety needs of this city are charging and they are changing rapidly. It’s clear to me that we do not have the adequate resources deployed on our streets in a proactive way.”
Lovell blamed a wave of officers leaving the force—125 in the last year, he said—leaving police incapable of patrolling all the neighborhoods hit by gunfire.