Portland police confirmed that one person was killed and at least five others were injured in a shooting near a demonstration against police violence Saturday night. Police had not released information about any arrests as of Sunday afternoon.
Portland police said in a statement that the incident started with a confrontation between an armed homeowner and armed protesters. The Portland Police Bureau described the scene as “extremely chaotic,” and said investigators struggled to get information from witnesses.
One person was dead when officers arrived, and five other people had to be transferred to area hospitals.
An online video of the scene shows officers and protest medics administering CPR and other medical aid to three people lying on the ground.
The shooting happened near Normandale Park. According to flyers circulated on social media, a group of demonstrators had plans to gather at the park for a “Justice for Amir Locke” event. Minneapolis police killed Locke, a 22-year-old Black man, after serving a no-knock warrant on a downtown apartment Feb. 2.
Several demonstrators on scene Saturday night told OPB they saw a person come out of a nearby home and confront a group of protesters. The person then reportedly shot into the crowd. It was not immediately clear if more than one person used a weapon.
Mike Macrae was eating dinner in his home next to where the shooting happened.
“I heard a really rapidly escalating argument with obscenities and a woman’s voice yelling at somebody,” Macrae told OPB. “And then I heard a man say, ‘Don’t bring this blank to our neighborhood.’ And then shots. Like a whole bunch close together.”
He said he ducked but it was over in a flash.
“I had no idea the scale of it until I read about it in the paper today,” Macrae said.
Multiple area residents told OPB they were not sure which neighbor was involved.
Macrae, who has lived in the neighborhood since June, said he isn’t aware of neighbors annoyed about demonstrations or vigils in Normandale Park, but said it’s a busy park with regular games and organized sports. Besides the occasional frustration with people camping in the area, he said it’s a generally mellow block.
Another neighbor said she heard the gunshots and ran to the back of the house. The police came to her house last night and checked her security camera footage but nothing had been captured.
Portland officers were also involved in a separate shooting Saturday in the Southwest Hills Residential League neighborhood. During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Lt. Nathan Sheppard said officers were responding to a disturbance call when they received reports of gunshots being fired nearby. During their investigation, police shot and killed a person.
Sheppard wouldn’t provide information about the person who was killed. He said one or two officers fired their weapons during that incident, but he couldn’t confirm the exact number.
Portland has continued to see persistent violence and shootings so far this year. In 2021, the city saw a record of 91 homicides, and on Thursday and Friday the city recorded at least six shootings in a nine-hour period overnight.
“This is not the first time gun violence has rubbed up against my family. Not here but in a different part of town,” Macrae said. “I’m starting to see a pattern. It doesn’t make me feel differently about this neighborhood but I’m just wondering where is safe? Maybe nowhere anymore.”