1 killed, 5 hurt in shooting in Portland park where police violence protest was planned

KOIN-TV

Portland, Ore. – One person was killed and five others were wounded in a shooting Saturday night at a Portland park where a march was planned to protest police violence.

Officers responding to a report of shots fired at Normandale Park found one woman dead, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Two men and three other women were taken to the hospital.

Their conditions have not been released, and police have not named anyone involved in the shooting.

Social media flyers show that at the same time as the shooting, a march was planned for Amir Locke, a Black man who was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, KOIN-TV reported.

Portland police respond, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, to a shooting in the area of Normandale Park.

Portland, Oregon’s largest city, saw months of nightly protests in 2020 that often spiraled into violence following the murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Portland became the center of the movement to defund the police, but the sustained protests in the city have largely faded away.

The city is now dealing with a plague of gun violence.

Police responded to six shootings within a nine-hour span between Thursday night and early Friday. Shortly before Saturday night’s shooting at Normandale Park, police who were called to a separate disturbance were involved in a shooting that left one person dead. It wasn’t immediately clear if the person died by police gunfire.

Although last year was marked by record-high numbers of gun violence in Portland, the number of shooting incidents during the first month of 2022 outpaced January 2021, according to police data. During January alone, police recorded 127 shootings.

Police and city officials say the increase in violence, which disproportionally affected Portland’s Black community, was fueled by gang-related arguments, drug deals gone wrong and disputes among homeless people. The situation was exacerbated by the pandemic, economic hardships and mental health crises.

The number of homicides in Portland last year surpassed more populous cities such as San Francisco and Boston – and was more than double the number of slayings in its larger Pacific Northwest neighbor Seattle.

Portland recorded 90 homicides in 2021 amid a surge in gun violence, shattering the city’s previous high of 66 set more than three decades ago.