Police investigating protest shooting, Trump blames Wheeler
The Portland Police Bureau has finished the on-scene investigation of Saturday night's deadly shooting in downtown Portland, but many questions are still unanswered.
The name of the male victim was not immediately released. He was killed during clashes between pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-protesters.
The bureau said homicide detectives have been navigating through dozens of videos of the shooting circulating across social media. Investigators have urged anyone that was a witness or has a video to contact detectives immediately.
"It is still early in this investigation, and I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place," said Police Chief Chuck Lovell in a release early Sunday. "If anyone can provide information about this case, I ask them to please reach out to our detectives. This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible."
The man was shot after a "Trump 2020 Cruise Rally" that started earlier in the afternoon in Clackamas County reached Portland.
KOIN 6 News witnessed two men yelling and having an altercation near Southwest Third Avenue and Alder Street around 8:45 p.m. Someone sprayed mace and then someone pulled out a gun. KOIN 6 News heard shots fired. A wounded man was seen on the ground and the suspect took off running, according to witnesses.
Police confirmed just before 9:30 p.m. that the victim, who was shot in the chest, had died. According to various media, including the New York Times and the Associated Press, the shooting victim 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.
Mayor Ted Wheeler and Chief Lovel will hold a press conference at noon Sunday to address the shooting. It happened on the third consecutive Saturday of clashes between right-wing and left-wing protesters downtown. Wheeler has repeatedly refused additional help from the federal government.
On Sunday, Trump issued a flurry of tweets and retweets including several that blamed Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for the death and one in which the president appeared to be encouraging his supporters to move into Portland.
"GREAT PATRIOTS!" Trump wrote as he shared video of his supporters driving into Portland to confront the protesters.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blamed local officials for failing "to protect their communities."
"I'm asking Portland officials, so that's the mayor, that's the governor and that's local law enforcement, to do their job to address any violent activity that is occurring in their streets," Wolf told CBS's "Face the Nation."
In the two hours following the shooting, protesters gathered downtown and there was sporadic fighting and vandalism, police said. Some gave speeches in Lownsdale Square Park before the protest petered out. Video taken by Tribune Reporter Zane Sparling and Photographer Jonathan House showed anger on both sides, starting at Clackamas Town Center and then on the streets of Portland.
The bureau reported ten people were arrested following Saturday night's chaos.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story is here.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.