Shots fired near Oregon Trucking Association competition in North Portland

 Alma McCarty (KGW)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hundreds of people — including 70 competitors — attended the 2023 Oregon Truck Driving Championships this weekend, held at a truck terminal in North Portland. The Oregon Trucking Association President and CEO Jana Jarvis called it a festive event.

“It’s our annual competition where our very best drivers will come out and compete on a skills course, they also have a knowledge test and they’re also tested on their ability to spot defects in the equipment that they’re operating,” she explained, “This year, we were so excited because over half of our contestants were rookies. They have never participated in the event before, so that was very encouraging.”

Winners get the opportunity to compete nationally in August. This year, that competition will be held in Columbus, Ohio.

“We had a few years that we were unable to have it during COVID-19,” said Jarvis, “Then last year we had to have it down in Eugene, so we were excited to get it back in Portland.”

However, those feelings have shifted, after someone fired several shots from their car in the direction of the event on Saturday afternoon.

“I heard what sounded like firecrackers…I made some comment about that and then I headed back up to the stage, and in the process of doing that a young man ran up to me to tell me that those were not firecrackers, they were gunshots.”

Jarvis considered ending the event early for the safety of the guests, but decided to move them to the other side of the large building onsite.

“I was struggling with what to do once I realized what had happened,” she recalled. “Do I just have to shut the event down right now? Will they come back? What can I do to keep people safe?”

Jarvis said she called Portland Police to request a security presence in the area for the remainder of the event.

“They told me they had no one to send me,” she said. “I just had a sort of ache in my stomach.”

She said, eventually, a couple officers came by to collect evidence of shell casings on scene.

KGW reached out to Portland police to find out more information, but they have not gotten back to us. However, a spokesperson for the Bureau told Willamette Week that since no one was injured, and they had no free cars at the time, no officers were pulled from their current assignments.

Following the incident, Jarvis said they’re rethinking the location of this competition for the future.

“We’ll certainly give it some serious consideration next year. I’ve had several individuals reach out to me since and suggest perhaps we have it in another location outside of Portland.”

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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