The Portland Police Bureau says that Portlanders have reported an average of one shooting a day in 2019. But a string of shootings in the last few weeks of the year has the bureau allocating more resources in the hopes of preventing retaliation. 

On Dec. 6, the Portland Police Bureau responded to a shooting in North Portland where officers with the Gun Violence Reduction Team recovered 55 shell casings. At another shooting in December they recovered over 30 casings.

Lieutenant Tina Jones, Travis Gamble, Sergeant Ken Duilio, and Lieutenant Jason Pearce answer questions during a press conference discussing a string of recent shootings in Portland.

Lieutenant Tina Jones, Travis Gamble, Sergeant Ken Duilio, and Lieutenant Jason Pearce answer questions during a press conference discussing a string of recent shootings in Portland.

Jonathan Levinson

Sgt. Ken Duilio with Gun Violence Reduction Team said often online feuds between rival groups can lead to physical violence.

But as violence goes, he said these shootings stand out because they involve multiple guns and multiple sides exchanging fire.

“Somebody shoots first and the other guys shoot back,” Duilio said. “And multiple guns on both sides. That’s pretty concerning and alarming.”

He said when more guns are involved and more shots are fired, the risk of people getting hurt increases. 

“A lot of what we’re going to do is try to make contact with our clients and make sure that they don’t get involved,” said Travis Gambe, a supervisor with the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, Parole and Probation. “If they are involved we’re hoping to try to intervene and keep them from getting more involved in what’s already a very difficult situation on the streets right now.”

In addition to the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, Parole and Probation, the bureau is also partnering with the Office of Youth Violence Prevention to try to prevent retaliation.

So far this year the bureau has responded to 400 shootings and recovered hundreds of firearms.