Along the fence at Southeast Portland’s Cora Park Apartments, someone tied a collection of flowers to a broken tree branch and tucked an “R.I.P.” wish amid the colorful blooms.
A hand-drawn pink heart adorned one of the fence planks.
The modest memorial stuck out in the gloom of Friday’s rain. Two days earlier, a man died in a shooting there.
Just an hour later Wednesday night, a second person died in a shooting in Northeast Portland’s Parkrose neighborhood.
With more than a month left in 2022, the fatal shootings pushed Portland to a record 93 homicides, according to an Oregonian analysis of the city’s surge of violence. The number eclipsed the peak of 92 homicides last year, which had shattered the city’s previous record of 70 homicides in 1987.
Both this year and last, most of the people have died in shootings.
Police on Thursday arrested a 63-year-old man in the apartment lot shooting in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood. Teddy Wayne Hall Sr. faces allegations of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.
Court records identified the man shot and killed just before 8 p.m. at the complex in the 4200 block of Southeast 37th Avenue as Raja Raphael McAllister, 46.
Hall is being held in the downtown jail without bail. Jail intake paperwork showed he has a previous criminal record in Oregon from the 1980s and ‘90s with seven felony convictions, including robbery and drug possession.
Portland police have released little information about what happened. Neighbors said the men may have been arguing, possibly over a parking spot, and that neither lived at the complex but knew residents there.
One neighbor reported hearing the sound of four to six quick “pops,” seeing a man flee in a car and then hearing a scream.
In the other shooting, police said they found a wounded person about 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 11000 block of Northeast Glenn Widing Drive. The person later died, they said, though it’s unclear where. Homicide detectives responded to investigate.
An employee at a hotel in the commercial block near the airport said it appeared to be a drive-by shooting near the freeway.
Police did not respond to requests for more information.
A third shooting outside a bar in St. Johns left a man in critical condition Thursday, police said.
A 43-year-old woman is accused of shooting her boyfriend while the two argued outside the Blue Bird Tavern, prosecutors allege in a probable cause affidavit. Barbara Marie Smith of Portland was arrested on allegations of first-degree assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
Her boyfriend, Justin Williams, was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the torso, according to police and court records.
Earlier this week, police said a 30-year-old man died after being shot last weekend by police in Southeast Portland’s Reed neighborhood. Police have released few details of what happened, saying only that they fired at a car associated with an armed robbery reported nearby. It was the fourth fatal shooting by Portland police this year.
Police officials initially reported that Immanueal Jaquez Clark-Johnson of Portland had been injured in the shooting by police.
So far this year, at least 78 of the homicide victims died in shootings.
In response to the week’s violence, Mayor Ted Wheeler said his priority for the remainder of his time in office is to address homelessness and crime.
In a statement to the Oregonian, he pointed to the Police Bureau’s Focused Intervention Team and Enhanced Community Safety Team that concentrate on gun violence and community outreach, while promising to boost staffing of sworn officers and unarmed public safety specialists.
“At the same time, we will redouble our ongoing street level outreach efforts, revamp the work of the Office of Violence Prevention, and expand our community partnerships to offer actionable options to those now engaged in gun murders to step away from their violent lifestyle and make sustainable change,” Wheeler said.
For those “who won’t step away from the violence,” Wheeler said he would work with the statewide criminal justice system to seek harsh, possibly federal prison sentences for gun crimes.
“Justice for the victims and their loved ones demands nothing less,” he said.
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