Residents dig in as Portland gang violence rises

146 gang-related incidents so far in 2015

A gang-related shooting happened right outside PPB East Precinct, March 14, 2015 (PPB)
A gang-related shooting happened right outside PPB East Precinct, March 14, 2015 (PPB)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thirteen shootings and 4 homicides in recent weeks pushed gang-related crimes to an unprecedented 146 incidents this year. The union representing the Portland Police Bureau said the department is understaffed and wants to add more officers.

Regardless of the violence or police staffing levels, residents in the affected areas are fed up. But some, like Phil Bonneau, said they’re determined to stay in their neighborhood.

“I was scared” when a house in the 9100 block of North Endicott was riddled with 21 bullets recently, Bonneau said. “But there’s no way I’m going to sell my house because of it.”

The Gang Enforcement Team updated local leaders on Friday about the latest shootings — at Tillamook and Williams, at 160th and Burnside, and 74th and Glisan.

The police union believes more boots on the ground will help curb the gang-related problems.

Bonneau said neighbors have to stand and face the problem directly, and he is determined not to give in to the fear.

“I think it’s sad that it’s happening in this neighborhood,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I think it’s sad that it’s happening to them.”

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