Police: Gunfire erupts as children light fireworks, woman injured

Police: Gunfire erupts as children light fireworks, woman injured »Play Video
Police tape near the scene of the shooting in Northeast Portland Wednesday night.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A woman was injured in a shooting near North Fessenden Street and Fiske Avenue on Wednesday night and police said she was surrounded by children lighting fireworks when the shots rang out.

Initial reports indicated 21-year-old Mary Price was shot in the elbow and side and was expected to survive, but on Thursday police said she had life-threatening injuries. She was taken to a hospital but her condition has not been released.

No children were hurt but police said about 5 or 6 kids under the age of 10 were lighting fireworks nearby at about 10:30 p.m. when the gunfire erupted.

Police said gunshots came from a dark-colored car with "at least three" African-Americans inside. The car had tinted windows and chrome wheels and police said multiple shots were fired.

Someone near Price returned fire and hit the car, police said. That person fled the scene and has not been found, police said. Police did not say if they had located the vehicle.

Investigators said they have not yet determined if Price was the target of the shooting or a bystander, or if the person who returned fire was connected to Price or the target of the drive-by shooting. But neighbors said Price was just caught in the crossfire.

Witness Adam Webster heard the gunshots sounded like fireworks and he saw a car speed away. "We just heard bang bang bang," Webster said. Kassie Kennedy said "we thought it was fireworks" before police and medical crews arrived.

The Gang Enforcement Team is investigating, police said.

Meanwhile, police gang detectives are investigating a drive-by shooting that wounded a man in Northeast Portland.  

Police said shots were fired Wednesday afternoon from a car into a group of men standing near a car wash located near NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and NE Jarrett Street.

One person was hit and wounded and police said that once again, someone apparently returned fire and the car fled. The condition of the man who was injured has not been released but police said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Sgt. Phil Blanchard said a witness told them they "couldn't believe someone shot that many rounds and none of us got shot" since there were a number of people washing their cars at the time.

Police are looking at security camera footage from two nearby banks for leads to the suspects. An ATM machine at a Bank of America branch was hit by one round.

Police said the victim turned up at a hospital with a gunshot wound. The Gang Enforcement Team is investigating that shooting as well.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)