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Picture of a handgun found at a shooting on Thursday. The shooting was one of 100 shooting incidents in Portland in January, almost double the number from a year earlier.
Picture of a handgun recovered by Portland police following a shooting on the 100 block of Northeast 129th Avenue early Thursday morning. At least one stray bullet hit a home occupied by a mom and her two children. | Credit: Portland Police Bureau

Portland — On Thursday evening, the Portland Police Bureau sent out a news release outlining the multiple shootings officers had responded to over the previous 24 hours.

At the bottom of the release was a single sentence paragraph that read: 

“With these events, there have been over 80 shooting incidents so far this year.”

OK, that should get the attention of residents and city leadership. 

But about the same time the release was being sent out, there was a two-car head on car crash on North Columbia Boulevard and North Vancouver Avenue. The suspect took off running. He would shoot and injure a good samaritan trying to stop him. The driver in the other car would later die. 

OK, that’s pretty crazy. 

But two more shooting events would happen later that evening.

Picture of a bullet hole in a closet door of a child's bedroom. The shooting was one of 100 shooting incidents in Portland in January, almost double the number from a year earlier.
A stray bullet shot outside in the street hits a closet door (upper right in the photo) in a child’s bedroom. | Credit: Portland Police Bureau

The last paragraph of Friday’s news release stated “92 confirmed shooting incidents so far this year, including 27 non-fatal injury shootings. There have been six shooting related homicides, which is five times the shooting related homicides in January 2020.”

Jan. 2019Jan. 2020Jan. 2021
Portland shooting incidents reported in January over the last three years. Source: Portland Police Bureau

Among those killed was Christina Gomez, 24, who was shot and killed 4:38 a.m. on Thursday near the intersection of North Buchanan Avenue and North Fessenden Street in St. Johns.

Picture of Christina Gomez, 24, who was shot and killed early Thursday in St. Johns | Credit: Portland Police Bureau/Gomez’s family

A bad start to the year follows the heels of a terrible 2020 for gun violence in the city. Portland had 893 shooting incidents in 2020 compared to 393 shooting incidents 2019.

The weekend before last, on Saturday, January 22, a 43-year old man was shot in the St. Johns Business District.

Allegedly, he was spray painting a gang tag on a business on the south side of Lombard Street when he was seen by the shooters across the street, on the north side of Lombard. At least 14 police evidence markers, typically marking shell casings, can be seen peppering Lombard. 

I ask Portland Police if there is a gang war going on in the city. The answer was that there was no clear connection between any of the shooting incidents, but police would certainly look into the possibility as the investigations continue.

But it’s critical that help comes from the community to address this ongoing, serious gun violence problem. If you have information about any of these events, please note the case number and send your tip to or call 503-823-0400. Those who have surveillance systems in the area of these events are asked to review footage and reach out if anything of evidentiary value was captured.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 cash for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous.