The number of homicides in Portland has now surpassed its previous annual record of 66, set in 1987 – and there are still more than two months to go in the calendar year.
As of Tuesday, Oregon’s largest city has recorded 67 killings so far this year, three-quarters of which have been carried out by firearms, according to the Associated Press. The total number of shootings – around 1,000 – has also left an additional 314 people injured.
"People should be leery because this is a dangerous time," Lionel Irving Jr., a lifelong Portland resident and a gang outreach worker, told the AP.
The homicides come as Portland’s police department is struggling to keep up amid an acute staffing shortage and budget cuts.
The Pacific Northwest city is now implementing novel solutions aimed at improving safety, including adding traffic barrels to prevent drive-by shootings and suspending minor traffic stops so officers can focus on immediate threats.
Police say many shootings are linked to gangs, fights and retaliation killings, but they are also affecting bystanders.
They voted poorly.