Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves the unrest in Portland Oregon.
One person was shot dead on a Portland street Saturday night during a series of confrontations between members of a 600 vehicle caravan in support of President Trump and counterprotesters who met them in this riverside city, an intensification of the conflict over race and criminal justice that has roiled American communities this summer.
Police said they are investigating the shooting as a homicide but warned against forming conclusions about what had occurred because so much was still unclear Sunday, almost 24 hours after the lethal encounter. Police did not release information about a potential suspect or the victim, though it appeared from videos of the scene that they were on opposite ends of the skirmishes the victim was with the pro Trump rally and the shooter congregating with Black Lives Matter counterprotesters before opening fire.
The man who was shot, falling to the pavement in the downtown district near where the opposing groups had clashed throughout the evening, was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far right group based in the Portland area. Its leaders publicly mourned the loss of a man they identified as Aaron J. Danielson, saying he had “such a huge heart.”
In a video recording of the scene, which captures the gunfire from across the street, the sound of men shouting can be heard before a thick cloud of what appears to be mace surrounds them. Shots are fired. Several people run, before others crowd around the man who had stumbled and collapsed face down on the pavement.
Other video from the scene captures sounds of a pursuit, with men referring to mace and shouting, “We got a couple right here.”
The same video shows a man coming to the aid of the shooting victim and angrily pushing away black clad protesters, even though they expressed a desire to help. An onlooker calls out, “Do you need an ambulance?”
Police and emergency medical vehicles surrounded the shooting victim moments after he was hit. That in turn amplified tensions among protesters, as police attempted to secure the area in a busy part of the city, which has seen nightly demonstrations for three months.
It is unclear what exactly precipitated Saturday’s fatal shooting, as Trump supporters shot paintballs and pepper spray from their trucks and activists burned Trump flags and lobbed rocks and other projectiles at the moving vehicles. One person who claimed to be an organizer of the pro-Trump event said they had instructed participants to stay on the parade route and did not know why the person who was shot had deviated or what had transpired.
Police Chief Chuck Lovell said his bureau’s plans were thrown into disarray when members of the caravan departed from the planned route and made for the core of downtown. Those vehicles sped past law enforcement, and there was little if any attempt to stop them from entering the city.
Earlier Saturday in downtown Portland, fighting between pro Trump rallygoers and Black Lives Matter activists left multiple people injured. The sparring groups threw punches at one another and hurled debris among vehicles. Some broke into open fighting in the streets. Trump supporters in trucks were at one point blocked in by Black Lives Matter activists and began exiting their vehicles, precipitating the violence.