GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt on Tuesday asked for the community’s help in solving a gunfight in a Portland suburb that injured seven people as investigators also worked a spate of overnight shootings that injured a 13-year-old boy.
The violence comes amid a crescendo of gun homicides and shootings in Oregon’s largest city over the past year that city leaders have not been able to stop.
Alejandro Barajas, 22, was fatally shot Sunday in the suburban city of Gresham and a large crowd had gathered for a vigil in his honor on Monday when a dark-colored sport utility vehicle drove slowly by the crowd, Gresham police said in a statement.
Those at the vigil and those in the SUV exchanged gunfire and seven people were injured, police said.
Police arrested 21-year-old Omar Cibrian Gongora on a charge of second-degree murder in Barajas’ death early Tuesday, hours after the shooting at the vigil.
Cibrian Gongora has not made an initial court appearance. No attorney was listed in his jail booking and it was unclear whether he had been assigned one yet.
Schmidt called Monday’s shooting a “brazen act of violence” and called for more resources to address a sharp uptick in gun-related violence in Portland and the surrounding communities over the past year.
“The gun violence that unfolded in Gresham on Monday shows the urgent need for more community-based programs that work to prevent gun violence and that respond to the emotional trauma left behind,” he said. “The outcome of this shooting could have been much different.”
Police in Portland, meanwhile, were investigating three other shootings late Monday and overnight Tuesday that left four people injured, including a 13-year-old boy who showed up at the hospital with a grazing bullet wound to the leg.
Portland Police Bureau said in a statement that its detectives were working with the Gresham Police Department to “look into any possible connection” between shootings.