For this week’s cover story examining the encroaching crime alongside Dawson Park—a park that’s long been an important place for the Black community in North Portland—the city’s Community Safety Division provided a map to WW of the places in Portland where gunfire injuries are most likely to occur.
The map, produced in July, shows the places in the city where people were most often injured by gunfire, using shooting data from between Jan. 1, 2019, through April 30, 2022. Only shootings where a person was injured or killed were included.
The city commissioned the study this summer from Boston University professor and researcher Jonathon Jay. Jay is also the head of a project called Shape Up, which helps cities reduce gun violence by environmental design.
For years, city officials have said they intended to deploy resources based on data showing where violence most often occurs. This is the most detailed map of gun violence that the city has yet released.
The map shows 18 small “clusters” of gun violence and 10 large clusters, most of which contain one or more of the smaller, more intense hot spots.
Twenty-seven percent of the shootings fell within the smaller clusters and 35% of them fell within the 10 larger clusters. Over half of the overall shootings mapped occurred east of César E. Chávez Blvd, according to the July study.
The map is pictured below, and the interactive map can be found here.
Ten of the smaller clusters are along or east of Southeast 82nd Ave.
Only one cluster is west of the Willamette River, in Old Town and parts of downtown. (It is, however, the single most violent place in the city.) Two are in the Lloyd District, two more are in the Albina area, and one cluster is in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
The Community Safety Division says it is focusing its gun violence prevention efforts in East Portland.
Dawson Park, the subject of this week’s cover story, lies within a cluster that ranks seventh out of 18 clusters for highest number of injury shootings.
The city has seen record gun violence so far this year, surpassing even last year’s historic numbers. A Portland Police Bureau database shows 781 shootings so far this year.