PORTLAND, Ore. – Three men were injured, one critically, in a gang-related shooting in Portland’s Waterfront Park Saturday night, police said.
It happened as hundreds of people were waiting for a private party to begin on the Portland Spirit.
The shooting occurred just before 11 p.m. near the gangway to the Portland Spirit, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson. Police are looking for three suspects who ran away from the scene.
"Something like this. Three victims, known gang associates, a lot of people were here, a lot of emotion involved. The concern is that there will be subsequent shootings because of this," said Simpson.
Officers arrived and found three victims near a large crowd of people. Nearly 300 people were waiting for the party to begin when the shooting occurred.
"Investigators learned that the Portland Spirit had been rented out for a private party that attracted a large number of gang members and associates," Simpson said in a news release. The suspects approached the victims, who were waiting in line, and fired several shots after a confrontation began, he said.
Police identified the victims as 26-year-old Leonard Brightmon, 22-year-old Xavier Bolden and 22-year-old Ronnie Smith.
Police expect all three victims to survive their gunshot wounds. Smith is in critical condition.
Bolden's girlfriend, Breauna White, said Bolden was on the phone when he was shot.
"He was on the phone in line going to the party," she said. "He's a good person, you know he (stays) out of trouble."
No arrests have been made. Officers believe the three suspects ran away on Salmon Street. They are described as black men in their late teens or early 20s with medium builds. They were wearing all white clothes.
"That's the challenge we have is unfortunately a never-ending supply of gang members who will step up, and our goal is we try to stay a step ahead of them a little bit," said Simpson.
Portland Fire and Rescue boats searched the river for additional witnesses or victims, but searchers did not find anyone.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Gang Enforcement Team at 503-823-4106.