SE Portland camper shooting prompts call to action

The shooter is believed to be a fellow camper, police said

A homeless camper was shot in SE Portland, Mar. 31, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -– Homicide detectives investigated an early morning shooting Thursday at a homeless camp in the West Buckman neighborhood.

The shooting was reported shortly after 5 a.m. on the 1100 block of SE Pine Street between SE 11th and 12th Avenues, according to police.

Officers located a victim when they arrived on the scene. They initially thought he would survive, but his injuries reportedly worsened and became life-threatening.

Detectives believe the victim was living in a tent on the sidewalk.

The shooter is believed to be a fellow camper.

Greg O’Hearn, who works at a nearby daycare, tells KOIN 6 News he’s had a few run ins with the homeless nearby, but he doesn’t blame them for what happened.

“We need to help these people,” O’Hearn said. “There’s a lot of mental health issues that are overlooked by our society in general.”

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales released the following statement on Thursday:

“This particular incident highlights that our homeless population are among our most vulnerable to being victimized by criminals, regardless of whether the criminal lives indoors or out. It’s why the City has been aggressively working to find safe places for people to sleep in the short term and to get back to the safety of a permanent home as quickly as possible.”

Sgt. Pete Simpson says addressing the trend of violence is a collaborative effort.

“There needs to be more treatment facilities, there needs to be more shelter options for people to get off the street,” he said. “Things like that will help lessen the density of homelessness in our city.”

A K-9 unit from the Beaverton Police Department helped search for evidence.

Officers have not announced any arrests.

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