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Story by Katherine Cook - Story Source
Published on Wednesday March 10, 2021 - 8:56 PM

The mayor is calling for action to combat increased gun violence as Portland's homicide rate continues to rise.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Portland police are investigating the city's 20th homicide of the year after a shooting in North Portland on Tuesday.

At around 2:25 p.m., officers responded to reports of gunfire in the 2900 block of North Williams Avenue near Dawson Park. They found a man dead on the sidewalk with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

"This was broad daylight and a man was shot down," said Portland Police Lt. Greg Pashley. "At the time that this happened, we believe there were people in the park, there were people in the neighborhood. Up until a little while ago, it was a really nice day."

Portland police have responded to close to 200 shootings in 2021. Pashley said the man who died in Tuesday's shooting was Portland's 20th homicide victim of the year, and the 15th person to die from gun violence. At the same point in time last year, the number of homicides in Portland stood at one.

"We see it has reached crisis proportions," said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, speaking about the violence. "We are collectively unified in our desire to bring an end to it."

As mayor and police commissioner, Wheeler felt compelled to visit the shooting scene Tuesday. He said he wanted to show support for the community, responding officers and especially the growing number of victims' families.

"I talk to victims' family members frequently, as recently as last week," said Wheeler. "Mostly they share their grief, their sense of loss, they express anger and frustration."