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Drive-by shooting at Hunnell Road encampment raises concerns of violence in the area

'There seems to be an increased sense of insecurity, feeling of danger'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A feeling of uneasiness has increased for those living along Hunnell Road in Bend Monday, after a drive-by shooting over the weekend.

Four people were in the parked vehicles that were hit around 9 p.m. Saturday, but police say no one was hurt. Officers released the description of a pickup that drove through the area.

However, people are starting to feel the danger.

Evan Hendrix is a project share coordinator for Shepherd's House Ministries and makes frequent trips to Hunnell Road.

“There seems to be an increased sense of insecurity, feeling of danger, feeling of -- I think a real sense of recognizing where they’re currently at is not where they want to be,” Hendrix said. 

He said with a recent increase in the transient population and drug use, people staying there are starting to have a wake-up call.

“I think for some people it was like, 'Yeah, this is only a matter of time before things like this start to happen,'” Hendrix said. “I think for others it was more a sense of, ‘God, I didn’t realize it was getting this bad’.”

It's not just the people living on the road who are ready for a change.

Day Wireless Systems decided to put up a barbed wire fence six months ago, after they found people using their outlets and Dumpster diving.

Communication sales employee and Bend native Garret Winter says with things like car fires and now a shooting incident, it's beginning to feel more unsafe.

“Drive by it every day, and some strange activities are going on for sure,” Winter said Monday. “Would like to see them get help, but I would also like to utilize that road and not have to keep my guard up. Bend is a pretty safe place, typically.”

Hendrix recommends people living on Hunnell Road try the Bend shelter on Second Street, or seek addiction and mental help from other services, like REACH and Deschutes County Homeless Services. 

Yet he also challenges Central Oregon as a whole to recognize houselessness as a societal issue, and work together to solve it.

“Bend is our community, Central Oregon is our community, so we need to take responsibility for it,” Hendrix said. “It doesn’t mean just trying to get rid of the problem or the people that don’t fit, but I think really taking a hard look at ourselves, and a hard look at where we live and how we live, and saying, 'What does it look like to make this a safe and welcoming place for all people?'”

Police say the shooter may have been driving a gray or similar-color pickup truck, but have not narrowed down any suspects.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

Comments

17 Comments

  1. The Hunnell Road Community started as a group of homeless in their RV’s who were just looking for a place to park where they wouldn’t be harassed and forced to move. Unfortunately, as the camp grew other less desirable neighbors showed up with the drugs, mental illnesses and criminal intents. Since it an unmanaged camp, there are no rules and as a result it eventually destroys itself.

    1. Basically what you’re saying is the people that actually need rules show up and ruin it. Sounds very familiar to lots of situations. Many people don’t know how to behave. I’ve seen what you’re talking about in other parts of the city as well.

  2. And the enlightened answer from the Bend City Council is to allow RVs, just like these, to park in driveways in neighborhoods for up to two years. Great, move the “Hunnell Road experience” all over town! Doubtful they’ll allow the neighbors on either side or across the street a veto in the matter even though it’ll be their property values that will suffer. Who would want to purchase a home with on of these broken down, trash collecting RVs in the driveway next door? Guess that’s one way to stop rising home values.

  3. The fact is the most recent violence came from someone that has money. I am more concerned that someone from our community would commit violence against people and families, that we put out on the streets because of our own greed. Central oregons homeless population is going to continue to rise if we don’t have cheaper places for them to live. Anything over a grand for a single bed apartment is expensive, anything over 1300 for a two bed room is expensive and anything over 1600 for a 3 bed is expensive. Sure its easy with roommates but what about single parents and families. Make some truly affordable places for people to live. Not what bends market value decides is cheap. Greedy, heartless people have moved into this town and now say their concerned about the homeless people they made homeless.

    1. “The fact is the most recent violence came from someone that has money”

      How do you know that it was someone that has money that is responsible for
      the recent violence ? The cost of housing in Bend and many other places is
      beyond ridiculous, but that is not the reason many of the homeless are in
      the situation that they are. There are many that choose to be homeless because
      they are lazy, and don’t want the responsibility that comes with having to work
      for a living. They would rather beg for money and steal from others, and take
      advantage of any social services that they might be able to get, if any.
      Saying that the recent violence came from someone with money is the same as
      saying that all homeless people are drug addicted thieves…

      1. Bullets aren’t cheap and neither are well functioning pickups. Just saying. My hunch would be it’s someone that feels like they’re working and paying property taxes and they’re a little pissed off at the world right now.

    2. interesting take with a ton of assumptions.
      1000 for an apartment is not expensive for some but a fortune for others.
      the mega rich, i.e. hollywood elites often pay $100,000 a month for rent.
      that’s too much for me!
      i love a beach town back east that I’ve wanted to live in for my etire life. Guess what? i cannot afford to live there. so….i don’t.
      if bend is too expensive for some, then they should move. it’s just that simple.
      for you to assume the shooter was “someone that has money” is a gross assumption.
      best guess is it’s one of the residents there who was heffed up on goof balls.

    1. Yes it has been that way forever. That’s why our nation was built on the rule of law. However, promoting anarchy and violence is the agenda of the current Trumplican party. The fascist anarchy was on display Jan 6 and violence is being pardoned, ignored, supported, and even encouraged by high placed officials in that party. With that kind of example being set, why should it be any different for PU driving, gun toting vigilantes in Bend or anywhere? Just glad no blood was shed luckily…this time.

    2. The ongoing disaster in Portland is a perfect example of what happens when
      laws aren’t enforced. In this case we can thank our so called Governor in Salem,
      and the Mayor of Portland for not letting the police do their job properly.

  4. Woah wait a minute. Are you telling me that homeless people are not violent? According to most far libs and the city council, homeless people are not aggressive or violent at all. Weird

  5. Shocker, this is what happens when liberals run a city, they’ve turned this once small and beautiful city into a miniature Portland. Maybe allow Bend PD to do their jobs, call “houselessness” for what it is. They keep pitching for Californians to move here and raise the rent incredibly high which creates more homeless problems.

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