PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A shooter wounded two boys and a girl outside an alternative high school Friday in what is believed to be a gang-related attack, Portland police said.
The victims apparently are students at Rosemary Anderson High School, which serves about 190 at-risk students. They all were conscious and breathing when they were taken to the hospital, police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
The shooting was reported after noon and happened at a street corner outside the school, Simpson said. The assailant fled, and the students ran back to the school for help, he said.
A nearby high school and community college were put on lockdown.
Officers don’t know whether the shooter was alone or with others, but Simpson said preliminary information suggests it’s gang-related. The bureau’s gang unit was deployed in the investigation.
Rosemary Anderson High School serves at-risk students who were expelled or dropped out, or who are homeless or single parents. According to the school’s website, 190 students annually are enrolled at the north Portland location. The school also has a second location in Gresham.
Portland has been troubled by gang-related violence for years and has seen a spike this year.
At midyear, the Police Bureau reported that officers had responded to 52 gang-related violent crimes, up from 35 through the same period last year, The Oregonian reported.
The paper quoted the director of the city’s Office of Violence Prevention, Antoinette Edwards, as saying a few people are responsible for much of the violence.
“We are allowing 17 to 20 violent people — shooters — to bully and to hold us hostages, our kids, our communities, our homes, our parks,” she said.
Some of the violence occurs between rival gangs, but bystanders have also been hurt.
Two men died in separate gang-related shootings earlier this year, including one outside a strip club.
In another shooting in June, at least nine gunshots were fired into an apartment complex, and a 5-year-old boy who was visiting his grandfather was wounded in the leg.
Portland police have been calling for more resources to deal with the gang problem.
In years past, much of the violence has occurred in north Portland, where Friday’s shooting occurred. As the area undergoes gentrification, the violence has spread to areas on the city’s outskirts.
The Portland area was the scene of another school shooting in June. A freshman killed one student and then himself.
Jared Padgett, 15, opened fire June 10 after arriving at his high school east of Portland heavily armed. He killed 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman in the boy’s locker room at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, and another bullet grazed physical education teacher Todd Rispler. When confronted by officers, Padgett went into a bathroom and died from a self-inflicted gunshot, police said.
Associated Press writers Terrence Petty, Gosia Wozniacka and Tim Fought contributed to this report.