Portland police seek 2nd gun fired during clashes downtown
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police said Monday they are looking for a second shooter, after bullets were fired downtown during weekend demonstrations.
Opposing rallies — by a far-right group and left-wing anti-fascists — drew hundreds of people to the Rose City and sparked clashes Sunday, resulting in violence and property destruction. The Oregonian/Oregon Live reports both groups were armed with bats, paintball guns and shields.
Around 12:30 p.m., demonstrators started gathering at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park downtown. An opposing group gathered in a parking lot in northeast Portland.
Around 4 p.m., police say subsets of the groups clashed in northeast Portland, where people lit fireworks and chemical spray, and fired what appeared to be paintball and airsoft guns. About an hour later, shots were fired at demonstrators downtown, police said.
No one was injured. A 65-year-old man was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
On Monday, police said there is evidence a second gun was fired during the same incident and that a group of people may have been pursuing the alleged shooter before the gunfire started.
Although police arrived at the scene of the shooting, and made an arrest shortly after, officers were noticeably absent from other violent confrontations during Sunday’s protests.
In the days leading up to the clashes, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said police would not necessarily intervene.
“You should not expect to see police officers standing in the middle of the crowd trying to keep people apart,” he said in a statement Friday. “People should keep themselves apart and avoid physical confrontation.”
In addition, except for the shooting suspect, police said there were no immediate arrests resulting from the clashes. But it said detectives are reviewing evidence “to determine whether charges can be brought for any criminal activity.”
On Monday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement that “events this past weekend put innocent lives and livelihoods at risk.”
However, Wheeler also stated that “strategic planning” from the police bureau “mitigated confrontation between the two events and minimized the impact of the weekend’s events to Portlanders.”
Wheeler said police monitored the events and were within minutes of both locations, ready to take action if the situation worsened.
Similar events in Portland between groups with differing political ideations or affiliations have resulted in violent clashes. Sunday’s events fell on the one-year anniversary of a particularly violent political clash in which the opposing groups brawled on the street next to police headquarters for hours.