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Story by Maxine Bernstein and Jayati Ramakrishnan - Story Source
Published on Wednesday March 10, 2021 - 12:29 AM

 
A 42-year-old man was gunned down Tuesday on the edge of a busy North Portland park in a frightening afternoon attack that sent people scattering for cover, marking the city's 15th shooting death so far this year, police said.

The man was found on the south sidewalk of Dawson Park, along North Stanton Street between Vancouver and Williams avenues.

The park was bustling at the time and people fled when gunshots rang out, said Lt. Greg Pashley, a Portland police spokesperson. He called it a "brazen, broad daylight shooting on a sidewalk in a crowded park."

The circumstances of the shooting weren't immediately clear, but a woman who lives in the area said she heard four gunshots. Police responded about 2:25 p.m.

Mayor Ted Wheeler, addressing reporters at the scene, said Portland's run of recent shootings "is our top public safety concern."

"I think as far as homicides and violence go, we're already in a state of emergency," he said. "Whether or not there's an official declaration is besides the point.

The city has recorded 20 homicides so far this year - the same number of killings in the city in all of 2016. Fifteen of them, including Tuesday's homicide, have been the result of gun violence, Pashley said.

"We've had an unprecedented number of shootings in this city, especially since June, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down," Pashley said.

The victim's daughter, sister and other relatives gathered at a nearby corner, watching from behind police tape as homicide detectives and forensic criminalists examined the scene for evidence and workers from the medical examiner's office arrived.