1 Killed as Trump Supporters and Protesters Clash in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. — One person was shot and killed late Saturday in Portland as a large caravan of President Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed in the streets, police said.
It sounds like someone is shouting, “We got a Trumper right here” just before the shots are fired and the man is killed. pic.twitter.com/MMCnp5iwtj
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 30, 2020
It wasn’t clear whether the shooting was linked to fights that broke out as a caravan of about 600 vehicles drove through the city’s downtown where protesters had gathered.
An Associated Press freelance photographer heard three gunshots and then observed police medics working on the body of the victim, who appeared to be a white man. The freelancer said the man was wearing a hat bearing the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past.
Here is video recorded from a distance of the shooting. pic.twitter.com/wtxItCDMay
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 30, 2020
“Portland Police officers heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street. They responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement. Police did not release any additional details and were at the scene investigating late Saturday.
Portland has been the site of nightly protests for more than three months since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Many of them have included vandalism and violent clashes between police and protesters, and hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested by local and federal law enforcement since late May. The caravan arrived downtown just as a protest planned for Saturday was getting underway. Police made several arrests before the shooting and advised residents to avoid the city core.
The chaotic scene came two days after Trump invoked Portland as a liberal city overrun with violence in a speech at the Republican National Convention as part of his “law and order” reelection campaign theme. The caravan marked the third Saturday in a row that Trump supporters have rallied in the city.
Trump and other speakers at this week’s convention evoked a violent, dystopian future if Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden wins in November and pointed to Portland as a cautionary tale. Biden has responded that the chaos, in fact, is happening on Trump’s watch.
Slowed it down. pic.twitter.com/zfdxD6QAKd
— MFoxhunter (@mfoxhunter) August 30, 2020
The pro-Trump rally’s organizer, who coordinated a similar caravan in Boise, Idaho, earlier in the week, said in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday afternoon that attendees should only carry concealed weapons and that the route was being kept secret for safety reasons.
The caravan of Trump supporters had gathered earlier in the day at a nearby mall and drove as a group to the heart of Portland. As they arrived in the city, protesters attempted to stop them by standing in the street and blocking bridges.
Videos from the scene showed sporadic fighting, as well as Trump supporters firing paintball pellets at protesters and using bear spray as protesters threw things at the Trump caravan.
The shooting happened shortly before 9 p.m. Pacific, several hours after the caravan began arriving in Portland.
The Black Lives Matter demonstrations are usually staged near police buildings and federal buildings. Some protesters have called for reductions in police budgets. The city’s mayor and some in the Black community have decried vandalism that has coincided with the protests, saying it’s counterproductive.
Early Saturday morning, fires set outside a police union building that is a frequent site for protests prompted police to declare a riot.
Well, that confirms it’s jay bishop…. and chandler pappas in the white pic.twitter.com/AjNKYdVLWZ
— Kodiak (@beklager691) August 30, 2020
An accelerant was used to ignite a mattress and other debris that was laid against the door of the Portland Police Assn. building, police said in a statement. At least one dumpster had also been set on fire in the street nearby.
The commotion followed a sit-in in the lobby of the Portland mayor’s condominium building Friday night.