Shooting in Old Town Nightclub Is the City’s 61st Homicide in 2021

Businesses in the city’s thinly policed entertainment district have increasingly turned to private security.

In what is shaping up to be the deadliest year in Portland history, a patron of an Old Town nightclub was shot to death early Sunday morning.

As WW reported in a recent cover story, the Portland Police Bureau has significantly reduced the patrol it deployed for most of the past decade in Old Town. With thousands of customers flocking to the bars and nightclubs in that section of the city on Friday and Saturday nights, some club owners have resorted to hiring heavily armed security guards who patrol the streets like a private army.

Those precautions were not enough this week, as police reported they were alerted at 1:48 am Sunday that a man had been shot inside a bar in the 300 block of Northwest Everett Street. The man, whom police have not yet identified, died before reaching a hospital.

The killing was the 61st of 2021, police said, putting Portland on pace to eclipse the city’s previous record number of homicides, 70 in 1987.

Portland saw four homicides in July, including the killing of 18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris near a downtown food cart block around last call. Sunday’s killing marks the city’s eighth homicide in August.