Portland Police Arrest 2 Suspects After Reported Shooting Near Courthouse

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
July 27, 2020Updated: July 27, 2020

Portland Police detained two people on Sunday night after a reported shooting near the site of ongoing violent clashes between law enforcement officers and rioters in the city.

An individual with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound who “seems to have been associated with the incident” near SW 4th Avenue and SW Salmon Street arrived at a local hospital by private vehicle as police secured the scene, the Portland Police Bureau said in a media release.

Police are still investigating the incident, according to the statement. The Epoch Times reached out to the bureau for comment, but didn’t immediately hear back.

According to KATU, the shooting took place about a block from the site of violent unrest in Oregon’s largest city. Downtown Portland has been rocked by waves of unrest with rioters targeting federal properties, including the federal courthouse, amid ongoing protests since the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

A group of people were seen fighting in the area moments before the gunshot was fired around 7:30 p.m., the news outlet reported.

The department also announced that officials discovered a bag containing ammunition and destructive devices near Lownsdale Square Park Sunday night. Items including loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails were recovered by police, and the origin of these are under investigation.

“Anyone who interferes with police performing their duty is subject to arrest,” Portland Police tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday, authorities declared a riot in the city after rioters breached a portion of fencing erected around a federal courthouse.

The Portland Police Bureau said around 1:20 a.m. that “the violent conduct of people downtown” was “creating grave risk of public alarm,” prompting the riot declaration.

Video footage showed federal officers responding forcefully after the barrier was taken down with a chain, firing tear gas and making arrests. Portland police officers were also helping respond, a change from the bureau’s extreme stand-off posture in recent days.

Six arrests were made, the Portland Police Bureau announced. As officers moved to disperse the rioters, some hurled projectiles like bottles and paint balloons at the police while others shot mortar-style fireworks at them.

The protests in Portland devolve at night into rioting. Crowds use sophisticated tactics like formations, equipped with shields, lasers, and other tools.

Rioters for the second consecutive night came equipped with electric saws and other items in their ongoing bid to take down the fence, which was placed around the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse last week to try to deescalate tensions.

Democratic city and state leaders claim federal forces are escalating the violence but the officers and agents appear to be reacting to criminal actions by the rioters, including damaging federal property and assaulting law enforcement.

federal officers
Federal police officers stand outside the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland, Ore., on July 25, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday defended the Trump administration’s decision to deploy federal law enforcement agents to Portland following weeks of violent unrest, saying that protests in the city are different from “normal criminal activity.”

Wolf made the remarks in an interview Sunday as he criticized Portland leaders for claiming that the city’s demonstrations are peaceful. Federal agents have been deployed across various U.S. cities, including Portland.

He told Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that the level of violence in Portland differs from other cities across the country which have seen demonstrations, riots, and calls to “defund the police.”

“They’re coming armed with rocks, bottles, baseball bats, power tools, commercial grade fireworks, eliciting that violence and targeting their violence on federal courthouses and federal law enforcement officers.

“That’s very different than what’s going on in Chicago, places like Chicago, Albuquerque, Kansas City. That is where you see normal criminal activity, street crime, what we say regarding gangs and drug dealers,” he said.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.