Man Killed in Portland Shooting as Violence Continues Across the City

August 30, 2020 Updated: August 30, 2020

One person was shot and killed late Saturday in Portland, Oregon, police said.

It wasn’t clear if the shooting that happened shortly before 9 p.m. in the city’s downtown was linked to fights that broke out between anti-police protesters and some pro-Trump counterprotesters.

A pro-Trump rally, consisting of a caravan of about 600 vehicles, had just finished their “Trump 2020 Cruise Rally in Portland” event when the shooting occurred. Pro-Trump rally organizer Alex Kyzik pleaded with rally attendees to leave the downtown area.

“There’s a lot of people who are trying to make violence or incite violence, and I ask everybody to please leave downtown,” he said in his Facebook posts.

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.

“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 Protests
A man is being treated by medics after being shot during a confrontation in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)

Portland has been the site of nightly protests for more than three months since both peaceful protesters and violent rioters took to the streets to decry the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while he was being arrested by police.

Hundreds of rioters have been arrested by local and federal law enforcement since late May.

The caravan was the third Saturday pro-Trump rally seen in the city.

The pro-Trump rally had gathered earlier in the day at a suburban mall and drove as a group on a planned route to downtown Portland, getting the attention of counter protesters who had their own protest planned for Saturday night.

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 some in the caravan firing paintball pellets at opponents and using bear spray as counter-protesters threw things at the caravan.

Police made several arrests over clashes before the deadly shooting hours later. Portland residents have been advised by the police to avoid the downtown area.

Two days earlier, President Donald Trump referred to Portland in his speech at the Republican National Convention as a Democrat-run city plagued by lawlessness and violence.

Trump has repeatedly called on Portland’s leaders to request support from the National Guard for local law enforcement in restoring law and order in the city.

Early Saturday morning, anti-police protesters set fires outside a police union building prompting police to declare a riot. The Black Lives Matter rioters usually target police buildings and federal buildings. Some in the community, including black Americans, have decried the violence, saying it’s counterproductive.

An accelerant was used to ignite a mattress and other debris that was laid against the door of the Portland Police Association 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 requesting that he defund the police.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.