Portland police investigated reports of gunfire on St. John Street near Park Avenue – the latest in a series of shootings across the city in recent months.

Police were called to the area of Washburn Avenue at St. John Street near Hadlock Field just after 8 p.m. on Monday after people reported hearing a fight followed by the sound of gunfire. Officers found a “significant amount of cash strewn on the ground” in the area, Maj. Robert Martin said.

There was no indication that anyone was wounded.

Police stopped a vehicle that was seen leaving the area and detained the occupants. A semi-automatic handgun was seized during the investigation, Martin said.

Investigators are still trying to determine what led to the fight and the gunfire. The department did not release any information about the people who were detained.

Police have ramped up patrols following a string of stabbings and shootings this year. Those shootings include reports of gunfire in which no one was injured.


So far this year, there have been 47 shootings and 17 stabbings, according to departmental statistics. Ten people have been shot or injured (one person was shot at and then beaten with the gun), including two people who died, Martin said.

The department is limiting outside officer details in an effort to increase patrols in hot spots and is adding more two-officer patrols citywide. Since police announced those changes in early September, there have been five incidents involving gunfire.

On Sept. 12, two people were wounded in a shooting outside of The Drink Exchange on Wharf Street. Tyreese Vargas, 19, of Westbrook is accused of shooting the victims and has been charged with attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault, and reckless conduct with a firearm.

Police continue to investigate an Oct. 2 incident on Grant Street that involved reported gunfire and a car crash. Officers searched a home on Grant Street on Oct. 7 but would not confirm if it was connected to the shooting investigation.

Police also continue to investigate an Oct. 8 shooting and disturbance on Fore Street that did not result in any injuries. Officers recovered a handgun at the scene and are trying to determine what led to the gunfire.

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