January 10th, 2012 9:50 am | by COREY PEIN News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, City Hall

15-Year-Old Shooting Suspect Was At East Portland 'Shooting Gallery'

lede_3749(rosewood)MORE THAN A PLAYGROUND: The Rosewood Cafe opened next to a Laundromat on Southeast 162nd Avenue this year as a volunteer project to create a community space in a high-crime neighborhood. - IMAGE: Darryl James

Portland police this morning announced the arrest of a suspect in a Jan. 8 shooting on a street so notorious that some residents call it the shooting gallery.

The street is Southeast 162nd Ave, on the border with Gresham, and its problems were described at length by WW here. (This picture, which ran with that story, shows a typical scene outside the Rosewood Café, a shoestring effort to create some community space in the area.)

The suspect, charged with three counts of attempted aggravated murder with a firearm, is Bennie Gene London III. Police did not provide a mugshot. He is 15 years old.

His arrest comes just months after the murder of 13 year old Julio Cesar Marquez, another resident of city's neglected but fast-growing outer east neighborhoods.

London was arrested with two 21-year-old men, Aundrell Young and Issac Burks, whom police call "documented gang members." London, police say, was merely an "associate."

The city's list of known or suspected street gang members had 763 names as of last fall.

People who live near this part of 162nd Ave. at Stark say poverty-driven crime problems are exacerbated by the physical as well as political geography. The municipal border with Gresham complicates police response. And the nearby MAX station on East Burnside provides a convenient getaway, as well as a physical obstacle, with treacherous tracks in the center of the road that more closely resemble a freight railway than urban-friendly light rail.

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