Four shootings Monday night have added to what’s been a violent spring in the Portland metro area.
A vigil last night held for 22-year old Alejandro Barajas, who was killed the night before by gunfire at 174th and Southeast Stark Street, was itself the target of a drive-by shooting that left seven people wounded.
Police officers arrested Omar Cibrian-Gongora Tuesday morning in connection with Barajas’ death, but there’s no evidence yet to suggest whether or not he was also involved in the vigil shooting.
The Portland Police Bureau said the shooting occurred at 11:30 pm and that gunfire came from a dark-colored SUV, and shots were returned from those present at the vigil.
Four other shootings occurred Monday evening, making it a dark night for Portland and bringing the total number of known gunfire victims to 11 in just one night.
Two of those shootings happened along Southeast Stark Street east of I-205—exactly half an hour and 25 blocks apart. One man reported to the hospital with multiple non-life threatening gun injuries from the first shooting.
Just shy of midnight, police responded to another call from a hospital where a 13-year old boy had brought himself to the hospital with a bullet wound in the leg.
Another shooting at Northeast 95th and Northeast Sandy Blvd happened just past 7 p.m on Monday night, leaving two people with serious injuries at the hospital.
PPB spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen tells WW the bureau has recorded 337 shooting incidents so far this year, including 110 people who have been hurt by gunfire.
Many of them are concentrated in outer East Portland, but more specifically in the Hazelwood and Powell-Hurst Gilbert neighborhood where 44 of the reported shootings from January through March occurred.
Ann McMullen, Hazelwood Neighborhood Association member, says she doesn’t see the city addressing the high number of shootings with any semblance of urgency.
“When people lose hope and don’t have any opportunities this is what happens. People are already suffering for a variety of reasons due to the pandemic and the current situation,” McMullen says. “We want the long lasting aspirational change, but in the meantime there has to be a plan to stop the immediate violence if at all possible. I don’t think there is a sense of urgency.”