Shooter was out for revenge on speed cameras that shot him first

Screenshot from police video of shooter on SE Washington. Inset: Photo of damaged camera on SE Washington and 103rd sent in by a reader.

Portland Police have apprehended a man suspected of shooting a handgun at automated traffic enforcement cameras throughout the city. In a crime spree that spanned at least two weeks, 28-year-old Chase Grijalva allegedly fired his handgun 17 times at more than a dozen traffic cameras owned by the City of Portland and caused more than $500,000 worth of damage.

When the judge considers his case, Grijalva’s motive will become clear. According to court records, he’s received five speeding tickets from three separate traffic cameras in southeast Portland in the last four months. The video PPB shared last week of Grijalva pulling over and shooting the camera at SE Washington and 103rd was taken just three days after he was cited by that same camera for driving 56 mph in the 30 mph zone.

Grijalva must have really had it in for that camera on SE Washington because that was his third citation from it since early March. On March 5th that camera nabbed him for driving 43 mph (13 over the limit) and on April 1st it caught him driving 41 mph (11 over the limit).

Two other speeding citations on Grijalva’s record — one on March 2nd for driving 44 mph in a 30 mph zone on SE 102nd and Stark, and another on April 6th for driving 43 mph in a 30 mph zone on SE 122nd and Steele — were also at locations where cameras are installed and were coded by police as coming from “radar” so we can assume automated cameras are what issued them.

The PPB say they arrested Grijalva after he drove recklessly through southeast Portland “at times into oncoming traffic.” Once Grijalva was stopped by police, they say he left his vehicle “in a very non-compliant, agitated state,” and it took a physical altercation to subdue him and bring him into custody. (These details contradict a statement released Monday by PPB that said he was taken into custody “without incident.”)

Police have evidence that ties Grijalva to shootings at cameras along Stark at 122nd and 148th, and on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd at NE Oregon. He faces 17 counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon, as well as a charge of Resisting Arrest. According to The Oregonian, Grijalva pled not guilty at his first court appearance Tuesday.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation currently operates about 27 traffic cameras that enforce speed and/or red light running. The speed and intersection safety camera program is considered a major pillar of their Vision Zero efforts.

On Tuesday afternoon, PBOT Mingus Mapps posted a statement to social media. “An alleged shooter damaged cameras that reduce deaths and serious injuries from traffic violence — while firing a gun on busy streets in our city,” Mapps wrote. “These reckless actions make our community less safe.”

PBOT is working to repair damages and Mapps appears to be undeterred. “We will continue to expand our use of this life saving technology,” he said.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago

Well the miscreant was damaging PBOTs ability to make money! Of course they made it a priority to go after them!
Endangering others just isn’t on PBOTs priority list of enforcement.

/s -well only partially sarcasm

Cap'n Pastry
Cap'n Pastry
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Speed enforcement cameras aren’t about making money –
“The purpose of speed and intersection safety cameras is to change behavior, not to generate revenue.
State law requires that money received from speeding tickets can only be spent to cover the cost of the program or pay for safety improvements and programs on the High Crash Network
Experience from other communities indicates that fixed safety cameras results in rapid behavior change. Seattle’s speed safety camera system saw a 64% drop in the average number of citations per day after two years.”

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/vision-zero/safety-cameras#toc-frequently-asked-questions

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Who’s “they”? Did PBOT arrest the guy or file charges against him? Must be pretty sweet for the bureau of transportation to have such a tight grip on criminal justice proceedings.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago

Now we have to hope that our DA takes this seriously and this person can be kept away from the public for our safety. This is a clear pattern of sociopathic disregard for the safety of others. If they give this guy a slap on the wrist, he’s going to kill someone.

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

You can thank Mike Schmidt for the charges of 17 counts of criminal mischief in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon, and resisting arrest mentioned in the article. According to KATU, prosecutors also want Grijalva held without bail. Sounds like they do take it pretty seriously.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

Ooooh the DA finally shows some backbone.
Charges files against 1 criminal in a high profile case out of 100s if not 1000s he wouldn’t touch.
We should vote for the current DA! . . . oh wait! Too little too late!

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Name three cases the DA “wouldn’t touch” for political reasons.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Good job by PPB to catch this ***personal insult deleleted by moderator. – JM***. I hope the folks who said we could defund the police (since we don’t really need them) will look at guys like this one and think otherwise.

John V
John V
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

I hope the folks who said we already did defund the police are scratching their head about who it was that arrested this guy we just heard about a few days ago.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  John V

Regardless of funding level, it is well-established that we have among the lowest per-capita staffing in the country.

https://www.wweek.com/news/2022/09/28/portland-ranks-48th-among-50-big-cities-for-cops-per-capita/

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

I guess the rest of the state must be making up the difference somehow, because Oregon as a whole has a higher percentage of people behind bars than almost any democratic country on earth. Yet for some reason incarcerating all those people hasn’t solved crime.

NATO_OR_2021
Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

I can only assume you’re trolling and not just willfully ignorant about what “defund the police” actually means.

SD
SD
1 month ago

A hard truth to accept, but most humans can’t handle the responsibility of driving a personal vehicle.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

Background – I was born with a type of X linked myopia that results in very high corrections.

I was 2 before they realized I needed glasses. The issue is that we develop the ability to track and assess the speed and direction of moving objects in those early years.

I was my brother who first realized that I had to wait for a football to hit the apex of it’s path before I knew where it was going to land.

So, even though my vision was corrected to 20/25 when I was 18 (-16 diopters of correction) I was unsafe behind the wheel.

I was 26 before I admitted it and didn’t renew my license (I hadn’t had a car since I was 19 at that point).

The scary thing was – even with that disability I wasn’t the most dangerous driver out there.

A Christine Hoerner
A Christine Hoerner
1 month ago

This person is a danger to society. This time he shot at objects that he was mad at. What will he do if a person makes him angry? I hope they lock him up and give him driving lessons and anger management courses.

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Speed cameras are a nice short term solution, but without a change in the mindset of traffic “engineers” and planners we’re creating a system that encourages fast driving (straight & wide lanes, with long distances between intersections, passing lanes, etc) and then simultaneously penalizing people for driving as fast as they feel comfortable (which also provides a revenue stream to the city which is struggling to maintain its overbuilt road network).

I hope we can have some political leadership in the coming years that will recognize the problems on our streets as a design/implementation issue and communicate the value of better & safer solutions.

mh
mh
1 month ago

I hope Mr. Grijalva is both fined and has his future wages garnished until the hardware and labor costs for this are fully paid. And of course that his gun is confiscated and that he can’t legally buy another. Maybe a speed limiter on his usual weapon, the car.

jf
jf
1 month ago
Reply to  mh

People like this just work under the table to get out of garnishments … There are tons of employers out there that are willing to do so…. Said but true…

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 month ago

Example 101 why it needs to be much tougher to get and keep a driver’s license. This person shouldn’t be allowed to own a car or a gun. They’ll probably take away his right for the latter as a felon but I’m seriously doubtful they’ll remove his privilege of owning and operating the former.

Jeff S
Jeff S
1 month ago
Reply to  idlebytes

IDK, my hunch is that a lack of a drivers’ license would not stop him from driving.

Charley
Charley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff S

The reason it’s good to take away his license is that penalties for driving *without a license* would presumably be added on to any other violations, and thus help constrain his behavior.

It’s incremental, but necessary.

Jeremy
Jeremy
1 month ago
Reply to  idlebytes

I agree that it should be tougher to get and keep a driver’s license! My opinion is that driver’s should be retested every 8 years or so to make sure they keep up with the latest changes in laws and to verify that they can be safe behind the wheel and not fall into bad habits.

Jim Calhoon
Jim Calhoon
1 month ago

PBOT is probably hoping this is one time incident, but I am not sure it will be. As more cameras are installed I fear more could be vandalized. For example the UK has a great number of speed cameras. I knew that over the years several had been set on fire. I just learned about this (even though it happened last year)

More than 300 cameras installed for London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) were vandalized or stolen between April and mid-August, the BBC can reveal.

Here is the link to the story.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-66535086

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Calhoon

Interesting map in the article. It seems that traffic cameras in London are overwhelmingly in the poorest parts of the city, with virtually none at all in the richest and presumably the most politically influential parts of the metro.

PTB
PTB
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Isn’t that map showing where the damaged cameras are? Those are not the only cameras in the system. And also, are these even speed cameras? I thought the ULEZ was a program to keep less efficient vehicles from driving within the ULEZ and decreasing air pollution in Greater London. If your vehicle doesn’t meet ULEZ standards, and the cameras see you driving, you pay a 12.50 daily fee.

https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone

On trips to the UK I have seen signs in London, and I want to say Bristol, too, that alert you when you are entering congestion pricing zones and your car will be ID’d and you will pay a fee. All this seems great to me. Same with the ULEZ.

Anyone with more concrete knowledge of this stuff, please chime in. Lets move to the UK and get the hell outta here, yeah?

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Just like how the red dots on this image show where planes are more likely to be hit by bullets?

Survivorship-bias.svg
jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

No. Thats not what that means. It’s an illustration of a plane used to figure out where to improve the armour. It was back during WW2 and the damage of returning planes were collated into that one image. The learning point for today is that initially the idea was to up armour the places where the damage was seen because as you say it’s where the damage is occurring. Someone else pointed out that the planes that made it back had of course survived the damage in those areas and the armour needed to be added to the places where the damage wasn’t recorded as planes hit in those places weren’t coming back.
It’s a real world lesson to think through the data and not take it at face value.
It’s a cautionary story taught at many military schools to understand the data fully as lives depend on it.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  jakeco969

Damn you’re good. I bet you know all about the history of camouflage too.

qqq
qqq
1 month ago

He actually wrote an illustrated book about camouflage, but it’s nearly impossible to find.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago

I don’t know much about it, but the British redcoats from independence time were red because the dye was cheap and their higher ups didn’t care it made them easy to see. When the “digital camo” was introduced it made time feel very cyclical.

IMG_0222
Steve C
Steve C
1 month ago
Reply to  jakeco969

Their sarcasm flew right over your head and made it back to base.

bjorn
bjorn
1 month ago

One thing we should all be questioning is why someone who is getting more than one speeding ticket per month still had a license?

EEE
EEE
1 month ago
Reply to  bjorn

Impunity? Thy name is Portland.

JR
JR
1 month ago

Lock him up and throw away the key. This guy is bad news for the rest of humanity.

Steven
Steven
1 month ago
Reply to  JR

He should definitely lose the ability to drive and own a gun, but “lock him up and throw away the key” seems a little draconian for mere property damage, don’t you think?

qqq
qqq
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

mere property damage

Driving to several locations around the city firing a gun in anger, a total of 17 times, isn’t “mere property damage”.

Jose V
Jose V
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

The whole “it’s only property damage” excuse has not been good for Portland.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven

Reckless endangerment exists for a reason. This is more than just property damage.

Belynda
Belynda
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

Bullets always come down somewhere.

Jose V
Jose V
1 month ago

> $500,000 damage! Wow. You know he’s not paying that back. Think of what we as a city could have done with that money. So frustrating to see this kind of vandalism routinely in a city that once was so livable. Ugh.

CDD
CDD
1 month ago
Reply to  Jose V

I suspect this is only the beginning…. A coordinated “movement” could put most of them out of commission in a few hours. They just won’t have the $ to either replace or guard them 24/7. See graffiti…

CDD
CDD
1 month ago

Google “Gatso burn” to see how the locals deal with these cameras in the UK. They are everywhere, and now also enforcing ULEZ in London. From guys dressed in inflatable dinosaur costumes blocking the cameras to TPM (tyre, petrol, match), or drilling a hole and injecting expanding foam into them.