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Friday, November 1, 2013

What A Crazily Violent Halloween We Just Had

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 9:12 AM

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  • Erik Ursin

Did Portland dress up as Chicago for Halloween?

Even for the levels of violence Portland's seen lately, yesterday and this morning have been insane.

It began yesterday morning, when cops found 32-year-old Jose Manuel Alvarez-Madrigal dead of a gunshot in a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. Officers suspect a homicide, but are trying to figure out exactly what happened.

The rest of the day played out quietly—trick-or-treating, drunk costumed shenanigans, etc. But after midnight the police bureau was scrambling to handle a barrage of violence.

At 1:20 am, cops responded to a call where two women had been stabbed in North Portland. None of the wounds were life-threatening.

Just 18 minutes later, East Portland cops got two reports of shots fired at approximately the same time. Near SE 124th and Powell—after chasing a vehicle for a couple blocks, forcing it to crash, then losing track of the running suspects—cops found a dead body outside an apartment.

At the same time, officers responded to the second shots fired call near SE Division and Interstate 205. They found evidence of a shooting, but nobody injured or suspicious in the area.

Then victims started trickling in. At 2:55 am, someone with a gunshot wound walked into Legacy Emanuel. At 3:33 am, another gunshot victim sought treatment at Portland Adventist Medical Center.

Cops are being careful to point out there's no indication either of those walk-ins had anything to do with the earlier violence. Portland Police Bureau's Gang Enforcement Team is at least working the murder at 124th and Powell.

If it turns out most of this is gang related, it's a bad sign. As I reported a week ago, police have grown alarmed in the last month at elevated gang violence. It's particularly disheartening given the effort cops, social services workers and others have put toward curbing the city's rising gang activity this year.

UPDATE, 9:20 am: Gang Enforcement Team Lt. Art Nakamura tells the Mercury some of the violence may be gang-related, the rest doesn't appear to be. Gang officers are still working the murder at 124th and Powell, and investigating the gunshot victim who showed up to Legacy Emanuel, Nakamura says.

Neither the stabbings in North Portland nor Alvarez-Madrigal's death appear to have gang ties.

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