A string of car crashes and shootings strained call volumes in Portland Friday night, to the extent that Portland police had to limit their responses to only life-threatening calls.
The events included several shootings and stolen vehicles, including an ambulance.
Early in the evening, a driver struck two pedestrians with a stolen van in inner Southeast Portland. One of those pedestrians was seriously injured. Police say multiple suspects ran into nearby neighborhoods, leading them to search the area with K9 units. The police didn’t immediately arrest anyone.
A couple of hours later, police responded to a group of protestors and counterprotestors in Northeast Portland near Interstate 205. Police say someone fired a gun, but no one was hurt. They didn’t arrest anyone.
Around 8 p.m., Oregon State Police troopers responded to a car crash on Interstate 5 near Woodburn. After they arrived, the driver of the crashed vehicle tried to flee and stole the ambulance that was on scene. The driver headed north toward Portland, successfully eluding police at times. During the pursuit, he rammed a patrol car and struck a building. Police eventually stopped him outside Portland as he was trying to enter another car on the highway. Noor Mohammad Baheej, 30, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving, among other offenses.
Around midnight, police responded to a hit-and-run on Southeast 82nd Street. The victim was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police are still searching for the suspect.
Police also responded to several shootings that left multiple people with non-life threatening injuries. One was at a convenience store on Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, another was on Southeast 127th Avenue, and another was on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.
Another shooting — this one on Southeast Woodward Street — left two people dead. Police are investigating it as a murder suicide.
And around 6 a.m. Saturday, police responded to a deadly car crash south of the St. Johns Bridge. One person died, and the crash knocked down power lines.
Police are asking people with information about any of these events to contact the bureau.
Police say when call volumes are high like this, they may not be able to respond to other, non-urgent calls, but people who need police assistance can still file reports online.