Portland, OR – A gunman murdered an 18-year-old woman and wounded six more victims during a shooting in downtown Portland on Saturday.
The attack occurred at the intersection of Southwest Harvey Milk Street and Southwest 3rd Avenue, The Oregonian reported.
Gunfire rang out near a grouping of food carts in the area’s entertainment district at approximately 2 a.m., according to police.
Witnesses reported seeing two people inside a blue early-2000s Ford Mustang convertible open fire into a group of people standing on the sidewalk, The Oregonian reported.
Police have not released any suspect or vehicle information.
Seven people were hit by bullets, to include 18-year-old Makayla Harris.
Harris was rushed to a local hospital, where she succumbed to her wounds, KPTV reported.
The six other victims were also transported to the hospital with varying degrees of injuries, but all were believed to be non-life threatening.
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release that they believe multiple potential witnesses fled the area when the gunfire erupted and may have information that could help investigators.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the shooters’ arrests.
The investigation into the mass shooting remains ongoing, the PPB said.
A fundraising campaign established to help Harris’ family in the wake of their loss has raised over $23,000 so far.
The recent high school graduate leaves behind her parents and six siblings.
“Makayla had the most contagious smile you’ve ever seen,” the fundraising page read. “She always wanted to have fun and be around her family and friends. Makayla was the most genuine and kind hearted person you could meet she had a good soul and definitely didn’t deserve this.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and PPB Chief Chuck Lovell held a press conference over the weekend to address the surge of gun violence taking place throughout the city, Willamette Week reported.
They said the city’s police force is outmatched and underprepared, especially as droves of officers continue to leave the defunded department.
“We’ve had many years of growth as a city and a shrinking police department,” Chief Lovell pointed out. “You can only go so far in that direction before you reach a tipping point.”
“What we need is a plan,” Wheeler suggested, according to Willamette Week. “The plan has to acknowledge that the public safety needs of this city are changing 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.”
He said the city also needs to hear from police about what they need to do their jobs better, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
“What’s needed is clarity in terms of what resources the Portland Police Bureau needs in the years ahead to address the changing safety needs in our community,” Wheeler declared. “That includes clearly identifying the tools, the training and the appropriate number of personnel.”
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Author: Holly Matkin
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