Portland police arrest counterdemonstrator for allegedly firing gun

By Sergio Olmos (OPB)
Portland, Ore. Aug. 20, 2020 1:06 a.m.

Skylor Jernigan frequently attends Patriot Prayer rallies and has been arrested in connection with a shooting at a protest downtown.

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting during a counterprotest Saturday in downtown Portland.

Skylor Noel Jernigan, 27, was charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, reckless endangerment, and discharging a firearm in the city.


Portland police executed a search warrant and seized a handgun, which police believe was used in connection with the shooting.

“I am pleased to hear about the apprehension of this suspect and recovery of a firearm” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement.

The alleged shooting, seen in social media videos, took place at a “flag wave” counterprotest in opposition to weeks of demonstrations in Portland.


Jernigan has been a frequent attendee of Patriot Prayer and Portland Liberation rallies, conservative groups that have been known for seeking confrontation with liberal demonstrators in recent years.

Those groups have been largely absent at the protests in Portland against systemic racism and inequality that have lasted 83 consecutive nights. But in the recent days, counterprotesters have become a more common presence, and pockets of violence have come with them.

The FBI is investigating an improvised explosive thrown at protesters on Aug. 8 in Laurelhurst Park.

Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson made a brief appearance at a demonstration Monday night, largely to criticize demonstrators for an assault that took place over the weekend.

And The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that police arrested Eric Michael Potratz this week after he allegedly wielded a bat and entered several Southeast Portland businesses with Black Lives Matter signs. Potratz allegedly maced employees and patrons.

On Wednesday, in response to increased counter protester involvement, a coalition of nearly 300 protest groups, activists, businesses and individuals signed a petition sent to the mayor and city commissioners demanding they hold conservative counter protesters accountable.

“The City of Portland did not provide the community with any warning nor any protection,” the petitioners said, referring to the rally where Jernigan allegedly fired the gun. “While you play politics, lives are at risk.”

With another rally planned downtown this Saturday, the petition is calling on city leaders to outline specific steps they plan to take ensure Portlanders’ safety.