1 killed, at least 6 others hurt in Portland shooting near food truck pod

Seven people were hurt in a shooting overnight in downtown Portland, police said. One of the victims has since died.

The shooting happened just after 2 a.m. Saturday in the 300 block of Southwest 3rd Avenue, near a pod of food trucks in a popular pedestrian area.

Filiberto Saldana was busy cooking in his food truck when he heard the gunshots, he told The Oregonian/OregonLive.

"The next thing I know I heard people running," he said, adding that a dark blue car took off right after the gunshots. "We just saw a car going fast in front of us."

When police were called to the scene, they found many people had been hurt. Police originally said eight people were shot but have since changed the number of known victims to seven. Police also believe other victims may be out there who left the scene on their own without talking to officers.

Police said the victim that died was an 18-year-old woman.

Police didn’t give information about the other six victims except to say their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

Police do not have any information about a suspect or suspects at this time. Police also did not say why they believe the shooting happened.

The downtown shooting was just one of many called in overnight in Portland, a city that has seen gun violence and associated homicide rates soar in the past six months. Another person was killed and a woman was critically injured and hospitalized.

Mayor Ted Wheeler called the rash of shootings a "pandemic" and said he would push hard for more officers and resources for the Portland Police Bureau, which has lost 125 sworn officers in the past year and faces news rounds of retiring officers in coming months.

In the past 10 months, the department has experienced a rapid turnover on its police force and has its lowest staffing levels in decades. Many of the officers who have left cited low morale and burnout from nightly racial justice protests that ended in confrontation and plumes of teargas.

The city was roiled by protests against police brutality and racial injustice for months following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who died after a White officer held a knee to his neck.

In the wake of sustained protests and calls to defund the police last summer, Portland's City Commission cut some funding and disbanded the gun violence reduction unit.

Since then, Chief Chuck Lovell has assembled new teams aimed at curbing gun violence and solving a rash of shootings through both investigation and proactive intervention before shootings happen.

Some residents, however, question if that's enough as the city marked its 50th and 51st homicides Saturday. There have been about 570 shooting incidents in Portland so far this year — more than twice the number recorded in the same time period last year. Police have said that about half of those shootings were gang-related.

Lovell said it was too early to call Saturday's shooting gang-related.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.