Authorities in Portland, Oregon, are investigating multiple alleged homicides that have happened over the weekend as the city reports a rise in violent crimes over the last few months amid ongoing civil unrest.
Portland Police and Fire & Rescue responded to a vehicle fire at about 11 p.m. in the Wilkes neighborhood and found a person deceased inside a burning car, according to a Portland Police Bureau statement.
The remains have been transferred to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office which determined the death a homicide, police said.
The vehicle fire was the first incident in a span of violent crimes that have happened over the course of 36 hours in the city, according to police spokesman Lieutenant Greg Pashley.
Pashley told local outlet KGW the incidents appear not to be related, but them happening in such a short span of time leaves homicide detectives working on the cases overwhelmed.
On Saturday, police responded to reports of gunshots at about 9:30 p.m. in the Richmond neighborhood, near Southeast Avenue and Southeast Division Street, according to a police statement.
In the statement provided by authorities, it appears responders did not locate the victim upon arrival, though an unidentified person who suffered from a gunshot wound arrived later in the evening at a local hospital by a private vehicle. That person has since died from his injuries in the hospital.
The cause and manner of death still have to be determined by the coroner’s office, who will release additional information on the case as it becomes available, police said.
In a third incident that happened several hours later at about 2 a.m., police responded to a stabbing on Southeast 12th Avenue in the Buckman neighborhood.
According to a statement provided by the bureau, arriving officers followed by emergency medical services provided treatment to the victim who later died from his injuries.
As of Monday morning, nobody has been arrested in relation to any of the alleged homicides. Portland authorities are asking for anyone with helpful information to step forward and contact the bureau.
The Oregon city has been hit hard since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis over five months ago by demonstrations that have many times turned into violent riots, with agitators targeting government buildings with fiery projectiles and clashing with law enforcement officers.
The number of homicides recorded in Portland has seen an increase this year compared to statistics from 2018 and 2019, with the vast majority of them from mid-June, Pashley told KGW.
The total homicides so far this year is in the mid-40s, while only 26 cases were reported in 2018 and a total of 45 last year, the lieutenant said.