Following deadly night, Portland Police say they 'can't keep up' with shooting calls
Police say a suspected shooter led police on a chase from northeast Portland to southeast Portland. The suspect crashed through a fence. Police worked for hours to get the armed man out of the car, but police say he refused. Police say the suspect shot an killed himself. (KATU){p}{/p}{p}{/p}

Portland Police are overwhelmed with the violence in the city and are struggling to keep up with all the calls.

Overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, Portland Police got called to several big incidents, including a deadly stabbing and two shootings.

Deadly night leaves Portland Police overwhelmed. (KATU)

The stabbing happened in southwest Portland. 

"So, the first one happened about midnight down on Southwest First and Southwest Ankeny," Lt. Greg Pashley, a public information officer with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), said. "And this was a call where officers responded to an assault with a weapon. When they arrived they found someone who had apparently been stabbed."

READ MORE: Person killed in downtown Portland stabbing, police say

That person ended up dying. Police don't have suspect information.

Shortly before this, police got called to northeast Portland for a shooting.

"Officers arrived and found a person had apparently been shot," Lt. Pashley said. "That person was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries."

Police say the victim is expected to be okay, but the suspected shooter is dead. Police say the suspect led them on a chase to southeast Portland. It ended in Mill Park, after the man crashed a pickup truck through a fence.

"That was the beginning of about four or five hours of conversation, negotiation," Lt. Pashley said, noting that the man in the truck was armed. "They called our Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) who came and took over the scene."

SERT and CNT negotiated with the man for hours. 

"We could hear the police trying to communicate with the person in the car, truck," one neighbor said. "They were asking a person in the vehicle to answer their phone. They were trying to contact them, and I kept hearing the police say, 'let’s try to figure this out.'"

This neighbor could hear these interactions from inside his home.

At around 4  a.m., police decided to use C.S. gas, it was at that point, police say, the man inside the pick up truck shot and killed himself.

"In order to draw the suspect out of the vehicle so they could safely resolve the situation," Lt. Pashley explained. "This is a person who had already shot one person earlier in the evening."

Officials did send out reverse 911 messages to people in the area, telling them to stay inside.

"Some questions we have are why police chose to use teargas to flush out the suspect and their aggressive posture," the same neighbor said. "We understand they were armed, but we didn’t feel safe with the police presence. Living in east Portland there’s a lot of police presence and it typically is aggressive."

Following the suicide, police got called to another shooting. This one was in north Portland on Lombard at a convenience store. 

MORE DETAILS: Man killed in shooting at north Portland 7-Eleven, police say

A person was shot at a 7-Eleven and later died. (KATU)

"There was some kind of incident in a convenient store or a convenient store parking lot," Lt. Pashley said. "That person was transported to the hospital in the ambulance. It’s an adult male and that man did not survive that gun shot wound. So, that is yet another homicide that’s under investigation."

Lt. Pashley says if both the north Portland shooting and southwest Portland stabbing end up being homicides, that'd bring the total number of homicides in the city this calendar year to 25.

"We are at 69 homicides since July 1 of 2020, so these homicide detectives are essentially buried under their cases," Lt. Pashley said.

Lt. Pashley says it's very rare for the city of Portland to have two homicides in a night. He says the bureau has added more detectives and officers to work on the shooting investigations, "but quite frankly they can’t keep up."

"What happens is when dozens of officers get tied up on a scene, like the one behind us, it does limit our ability to respond to other calls for service throughout the city," Lt. Pashley said, while near the Mill Park scene in southeast Portland.

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