Mayor Wheeler Releases Updated Gun Violence Problem Analysis

PORTLAND, Ore. — Mayor Ted Wheeler released an Updated Portland Homicide Problem Analysis,  from the California Partnership for Safe Communities, on Saturday.

This analysis examined gun homicides in the City of Portland from January 2019 – June 2021, and all nonfatal injury shootings between January 2019 – December 2021. The report is an update from the 2019 Problem Analysis and reflects data specific to Portland that shows a sharp rise in gun violence compared to peer cities. This data will shape how the City garners resources around combating gun violence and will help ensure investments are tailored and targeted to have as much impact as possible.

“This report confirms the unfortunate reality of what we already knew – that gun violence is on the rise in Portland and that it is being driven by a very small percentage of our population,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “I look forward to incorporating this important data and the recommendations from California Partnership into our future efforts to address gun violence, including Safe Summer PDX and beyond.”

2019 marks a breaking point wherein Portland Homicides spiked well aboe the 20 year average of 28 per year. Portland has seen a steady increase every year since the 36 in 2019. The years prior were all lower than 26 with exception of 2004 when there were 29 homicides.

The analysis reveals Portland saw a 144-percent increase in homicide counts over the last three years, and 241-percent rise in nonfatal shootings resulting in injury. Relative to five “peer comparison cities”, Minneapolis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Denver, and Nashville; the Report finds Portland experienced the largest increase in homicide rates at 207-percent from 2019-2021. Minneapolis is the second highest at 104-percent. Atlanta is third at 54-percent, just ahead of San Franciso at 53-percent.

The analysis also lists the Characteristics of those involved in Violence. Victims and suspects of homicides and shootings in Portland are primarily African-American (47.2%) and Caucasian (36.5%) men. The overall age is 32.9 and about 78-percent are between the ages of 18-44. Victims tend to be slightly older than suspects.

Homicides in Portland fall into many categories of circumstances, but the largest are ongoing personal disputes and instant disputes. A close second is violence resulting from group/gang members engaged in ongoing group-related conflicts. Over the course of the study period there were approximately 227 group involved individuals directly involved or a shooting, indicating that a very small and very high risk population is driving a significant portion of the gun violence in Portland.

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