Disturbing video shows the moment a man wearing a Patriot Prayer baseball cap was shot and killed in Portland as tensions between pro-Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter counter-protesters boiled over.
In the footage, recorded by videographer Justin Dunlap, the victim appears to be following two other people down a street before two gunshots ring out and a cloud of smoke erupts at the source.
The person who appeared to fire the shots and a handful of other people nearby then flee out of view as the victim staggers for a few feet and collapses on the ground.
Several people are seen rushing over when a car turns a corner and skids to a stop in front of the victim.
It remains unclear if the shooting at was linked to fights that broke out as a caravan of about 600 vehicles was confronted by counter-demonstrators in the city’s downtown area.
Police said the caravan had left the area around 8.30pm, and officers heard gunshots around 15 minutes later and arrived at the shooting scene ‘within a minute’.
The victim, who has not yet been identified, was shot in the chest and died at the scene.
An Associated Press freelance photographer who heard three gunshots and then observed police medics attending to the victim said it was a white man wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group whose members have frequently clashed with protesters in Portland in the past.
Detectives have yet to release any information about the shooting suspect and said they are still looking for more evidence.
Police acknowledged that several images and videos have been posted on social media – including Dunlap’s – but did not say whether they’d been verified.
Dunlap claimed that the victim had been macing people prior to the shooting.
In his video someone could be heard shouting that the man was a ‘motherf**ker who has been pushing people and jumping people the entire time’.
‘That guy has been f**king with people the entire time,’ the witness shouted.
The shooting took place on Southwest 3rd Avenue and Alder Street – along the main thoroughfare which runs through the heart of Portland, past Portland State University.
Police cautioned the public against drawing conclusions about what sparked the violence.
‘It is important for detectives get a full and accurate picture of what happened before, during, and after the shooting,’ a police statement said.
‘If anyone was a witness, has video, or has information about the homicide, they’re asked to contact the primary detectives.’
Police Chief Chuck Lovell added: ‘I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place.
‘This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.’
Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a text message to Oregon Public Broadcasting that he was ‘aware of the situation.’
‘Gathering information now,’ he continued. ‘Will be transparent with public. Asking for people to remain calm and not add to this tragedy.’
A man has been shot in downtown Portland. Ambulance and police are attending. pic.twitter.com/lKjPO2bbLK
Saturday marked the 95th night of unrest in Portland since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
More than 600 cars flying Trump flags and banners set off in a convoy around and through the city as the sun began to set, after tense scenes at their meeting point and clashes with counter-protesters.
It came as Trump supporters staged similar gatherings around the country, with hundreds of people congregating in Los Angeles, Georgia and elsewhere to celebrate their president and rally for his re-election.
In Washington DC, Black Lives Matter protesters were tear gassed to push them away from the White House, while in Kenosha, Wisconsin – where Jacob Blake was shot on August 23 – protests continued, but were largely peaceful.
The White House announced that Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha on Tuesday – which many fear could exacerbate tensions in the city.
As the convoy of Trump vehicles entered Portland’s city center, supporters sitting in the back of pick ups used pepper spray on counter-protesters. Eggs were thrown at their trucks and cars, and the Trump supporters retaliated by turning paintball guns on the crowd, allegedly firing ball bearings.
A reporter was among those shot by the paintball guns.
Two bare-chested men were filmed punching each other as the violence spread. Riot police swarmed into the center and began making arrests.
A block away from the scene of the shooting, a black man in a face mask was pictured in an animated discussion with Joey Gibson, a Right-wing political activist and founder of Patriot Prayer.
Meanwhile, the driver of a dark-colored sedan revved his engine and then sped towards the crowd of BLM protesters before driving off, miraculously managing to not hit anyone.
One BLM supporter was attacked as he filmed the license plates of MAGA cars.
An angry group of Trump supporters got out of a car and confronted the activist, who was knocked to the ground.
The Trump supporters then turned and walked away.
This asshole just tried to run over and kill protesters. That’s terrorism. #PortlandProtests pic.twitter.com/hCmnfEE0Rw
The Morrison Bridge was the scene of an ugly conflict as the caravan pulled into the city, and one Trump supporter drove his truck towards protesters on an off ramp. Two people brawled on the bridge, sparking a rapid response from Portland police who arrested the pair.
As night fell the caravan was cruising around town, with what organizers hoped was a show of strength to rival the Left-wing activists who have largely dominated the previous 94 nights of protest.
Saturday’s pro-Trump demonstration was organized on Facebook, and 2,500 people said they intended to attend.
A New York Times reporter on the scene estimated that around 1,000 people showed up at Clackamas Town Center at 4pm.
‘We would like to get some fellow American patriots together for a Trump 2020 Cruise rally to support our great president,’ wrote Alex Kyzik, one of the organizers.
Attendees were encouraged to bring their guns, and conceal-carry them, in a video Kyzik posted previewing the event.
Some of those at the start, however, were openly flaunting their assault rifles.
‘I know for the most part, everyone here is gonna be pretty civilized. We’re all gonna support the president in safe way,’ said Brandon Beck, who was attending his first Trump rally.
He told Oregon Public Broadcasting: ‘Obviously we’re all gonna be in cars, none of us are gonna be burning, looting, or anything. We’re just trying to have fun and stay safe today.’
Joe Reminar told the site that he was a veteran of Trump rallies, and Saturday’s was the fifth or sixth he had attended.
‘Today is about freedom and showing that Antifa doesn’t have the full chokehold on Portland and that we’re taxpaying citizens and we don’t want s**t tore up,’ he said.
‘We’re gonna be a major parade and showing strength for our president. Which we appreciate all that he’s done, keeping the economy going, fighting China on this virus, keeping us free and saving our Second Amendment.’
A crowd of Black Lives Matter activists turned up to meet them, waving their placards and engaging in tense confrontations.
One Trump supporter ripped off his jacket, squaring up for a fight, before he was escorted away by other Trump supporters.
A Black Lives Matter activist was pepper sprayed in another melee.
The convoy set off, with Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office vehicles blocking intersections around the Town Center mall to allow the parade of vehicles to pass through.
A heavy presence of Oregon state troopers was seen along Highway 224, the pro-Trump caravan’s primary route to Portland.
The caravan was intended to avoid downtown, but as night fell many of the cars strayed from the intended route and headed into the city center.
The caravan was due to disperse at 9pm.
Seventy-four people are now facing federal charges related to protests that have rocked the Portland for three months since Floyd was killed, the local U.S. attorney announced Thursday.
The misdemeanor and felony charges include assaults on federal officers, arson and damaging federal property.
In Georgia, hundreds of Trump supporters took to the waters of Lake Allatoona, 20 miles north of Marietta.
Flying flags proclaiming their support, they cruised up to Flamingo Cove – some with cardboard cutouts of the president in their boats, and others wearing masks of his face.
One woman surveying the scene told 11Alive it was ‘pretty amazing.’
‘Just the support, everybody out here with the flags and the Trump banners, just showing their support,’ she said.
In Los Angeles, a rally of around 200 people in Beverly Hills was declared an unlawful assembly as anti-Trump infiltrators were found among the MAGA crowd.
Scuffles ensued, and the rally was abandoned.
Black Lives Matter activists also gathered on Saturday in LA, in front of City Hall, before marching through downtown.
And outside the White House, chaotic scenes unfolded following another night of Black Lives Matter protests that saw police clash with demonstrators, striking them with rubber bullets and detonating stun grenades, as they moved to clear out crowds.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza to rally against police brutality and racial injustice.
Members of the Metropolitan Police Department were out in force as demonstrators marched to the White House chanting, ‘No cops, no KKK, no fascists’.
Shortly before midnight, tensions between protesters and law enforcement boiled over, as police officers in riot gear began charging at crowds to move them out of the area.
Officers were seen deploying tear gas grenades and using flash bang devices to disperse crowds.
Videos shared on social media showed some protesters retaliating, with some throwing projectiles at officers or playing loud music. In one clip, one man was seen picking up a tear gas canister and hurling it back at police.
In Kenosha, protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake remained largely peaceful on Saturday night, following a day of demonstrations that saw thousands of people march to the county courthouse to denounce police brutality and racism.
Black Lives Matter activists have marched in the Wisconsin city every night since Blake’s shooting last Sunday, with some protests devolving into unrest with damage to buildings and vehicles.
Earlier in the day, crowds took to the streets chanting, ‘seven bullets, seven days’ – a reference to the number of times Blake was shot – as they marched toward the court, where speakers encouraged protesters to vote for change in November, and to push for legislation in Wisconsin that would lead to police reform.
But unlike last week’s demonstrations, most people on Saturday dispersed from the protest before the 7pm curfew.
More than an hour later, law enforcement officers, including some wearing U.S. Marshals Service identification, surrounded about a dozen people who remained outside the courthouse and made several arrests.
As night fell, National Guard troops and police officers in riot gear remained outside the fenced area surrounding several government buildings that have been at the center of the unrest over the past week.
During the rally earlier, Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, called on protesters to refrain from looting and vandalism, which had overshadowed peaceful protests before a tense calm set in the past three nights.
‘Good people of this city understand. If we tear it up we have nothing,’ Blake Sr said. ‘Stop it. Show ’em for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.’
He gave an impassioned call for changing a system he described as fostering police brutality and racial inequities.
‘There were seven bullets put in my son’s back… Hell yeah, I’m mad,’ said Blake Sr. ‘What gave [police] the right to attempted murder on my child? What gave them the right to think that my son was an animal?
‘What gave them the right to take something that was not theirs? I’m tired of this,’ he added.
Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey and two other officers were responding to a domestic dispute call on August 23 when Sheskey shot 29-year-old Blake in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Trump is set to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, the White House announced Saturday.
The president will meet with ‘law enforcement and survey damage from recent riots’, White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters aboard Air Force One.
He did not say if the president will meet with Blake’s family – but the visit is expected to exacerbate tensions in the city.