It's not uncommon lately to get an e-mail from the police describing an attack officers believe is gang related. There have been three of them already this month, all drive-by shootings.
Most of the attacks occur at night and near traditional hotspots of gang activity in North, Northeast and East Portland. But a shooting this afternoon bucks that trend, marking one of the more-brazen attacks the city's seen this year.
According to police, someone in a car at NE Broadway near 6th began shooting at another car at around 2:30 this afternoon. No one was injured, but the attack played out in a heavily trafficked commercial area.
And it comes as cops say gang violence is spiking in the city, after months of relative quiet. Officers in recent weeks have described gun battles where dozens of shots are fired, and say the city could have a comparable year to 2012, when there were 118 gang attacks in Portland.
"What's shocked us is the amount of people being injured this year," Lt. Art Nakamura, who heads up Portland's Gang Enforcement Team, recently told members of the city's Gang Violence Task Force. "It's kind of staggering."
Cops have feared violence would ramp up this summer, but expressed hope earlier in the year fresh efforts at gang outreach and enforcement would stifle it.
There have been now been 52 attacks this year, compared to 64 at the same time in 2012, Nakamura tells me. But the summer's been hectic. He says there were 15 gang-related attacks last month. In June 2012, there were just five.