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Man accused of deadly shooting now suspected of being connected to five more, two deadly

By Connor McCarthy

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    PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — A man accused of a deadly shooting in Dawson Park earlier this month, is now facing charges in several other shootings.

Investigators said Joseph Banks, 49, shot a total of six people this year killing three of them. Multnomah County prosecutors believe Banks is now connected to three out of the 22 homicides that have happened this year in Portland. He was indicted on Monday and arraigned Tuesday morning on 15 counts, including three charges of murder in the second degree.

After Tuesday’s arraignment, Banks is now accused of killing 39-year-old Isaiah Hurst on January 2 in north Portland, 35-year-old Jeff Ramirez on February 2 in southeast Portland, and 55-year-old Mark Johnson at Dawson Park on March 1. He is also accused of shooting three other people this year who all survived.

One of those shootings happened at the 3700 block of Northeast Garfield Avenue on Feb. 28. That’s a block away from the Cameron Care Center where Banks lived. Cameron Care is a group living facility for adults battling mental illness. A spokesperson for Cameron Care sent FOX 12 this statement:

“We are still gathering information about the incidents. Cameron Care has been diligently working with Portland Police about this very unfortunate matter. Capturing this information takes time, as these incidents took place away from our facility. If warranted and permissible by the Portland Police, we will provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, please keep the victims and their families, as well our entire community, in mind. These events are tragic and should be treated with the utmost compassion, respect, and care.”

The spokesperson did not say when Banks moved into their facility.

Banks has been under the supervision of psychiatric professionals since pleading not guilty only by reason of insanity in 2007 in federal court of possessing a firearm. According to court documents Banks told the court he was suffering from schizophrenia. He was also diagnosed with anti-social disorder and doctors said he would likely be dangerous to others. The federal judge ordered a life sentence of supervision by mental health professionals. The judge also banned him from possessing a gun.

Authorities have not said how he was able to get a hold of a gun, to shoot six people this year, killing three. Prosecutors believe all of these shootings were random.

Banks’ trial is set to start on May 9 in Multnomah County Court at 9 a.m.

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