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Bullets fly, no injuries, in Sellwood

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The incident is disturbing because it is the first hint of armed gang activity here


COURTESY OF KIM SCHWARTZENBERGER - Police cordoned off S.E. Spokane Street, after more than a dozen gunshots were fired near a recording studio. Shell casings in the street are designated by evidence markers. An otherwise quiet evening was disrupted when gunshots rang out on S.E. Spokane Street, just west of 17th Avenue, late on Monday, November 28.

Sellwood resident and professional dog masseuse Kim Schwartzenberger told THE BEE that she'd been at Jake's Place on the corner, when she decided to take her dogs for a walk, at 10 p.m. that evening.

"I was about six blocks away, when I heard what sounded like 13 gunshots coming from the area near Jake's Place," she said. "By the time I'd walked back to get my car and go home, the police had come and marked off the area with crime scene tape, including where my car was parked."

The shootout wasn't at the tavern, but instead, at a house-turned-recording-studio at 1677 S.E. Spokane Street – a place that official records show has had at least one late-night noise complaint lodged against it.

"I learned that three guys came out of the recording studio, an SUV drove by, and they decided to shoot at each other," Schwartzenberger reported.

The street was littered with bullet casings, Schwartzenberger said, set out with police evidence markers.

"A 'shots fired' call came out at 10:19 p.m., bringing Central Precinct officers to the area," disclosed Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Greg Stewart.

"A caller to the 9-1-1 Center reported seeing two black males running from the area; one was armed with a handgun," Stewart said. "Officers located a crime scene with evidence of a shooting, including a vehicle struck by gunfire."

That vehicle, Schwartzenberger told THE BEE, belonged to a man who had been living in his car; the rear window was shattered.

Due to witness reports, and video evidence captured on surveillance cameras, the PPB Gang Enforcement Team was called in to assist with the investigation, Sgt. Stewart commented.

At 12:55 a.m. officers reopened the crime scene, and Schwartzenberger was able to get to her car and go home.

"It was a close call for me and my pups; I'm still jittery when I hear a loud sound," she remarked the following day. "Angels were watching over me!"