Portland Police search for second gun in downtown clashes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Portland Police said Monday they were looking for a second shooter after bullets were fired through the downtown area during weekend protests.

Opposition rallies – organized by a far-right group and left-wing anti-fascists – drew hundreds of people to the Pink City and sparked clashes on Sunday, resulting in violence and destruction of property. The Oregonian / Oregon Live reports that both groups were armed with bats, paintball guns and shields.

At around 12:30 p.m., protesters began to gather in downtown Tom McCall Waterfront Park. An opposing group has gathered in a parking lot in northeast Portland.

At around 4 p.m., police said subsets of the groups clashed in northeast Portland, where people lit fireworks and chemical sprays, and fired what appeared to be paintball and airsoft guns. About an hour later, shots were fired at protesters in the city center, police said.

No one was hurt. A 65-year-old man was arrested for illegal use of a weapon and illegal possession of a firearm.

On Monday, police said there is evidence that a second shot was fired in the same incident and that a group of people may have pursued the alleged shooter before the shooting started.

Although police arrived at the scene of the shooting and made an arrest shortly thereafter, officers were noticeably absent from other violent clashes during Sunday’s protests.

In the days leading up to the clashes, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said police would not necessarily intervene.

“You shouldn’t expect to see police standing in the middle of the crowd trying to separate people,” he said in a statement Friday. “People should stay away and avoid physical confrontation. “

In addition, with the exception of the suspect who fired, police said there had been no immediate arrest following the clashes. But he said detectives were examining the evidence “to determine if charges can be laid for criminal activity.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement on Monday that “the events of the past weekend have endangered innocent lives and livelihoods.”

However, Wheeler also said that the police bureau’s “strategic planning” “softened the confrontation between the two events and minimized the impact of the weekend’s events on the Portlanders.”

Wheeler said police were monitoring the events and were within minutes of both locations, ready to take action if the situation worsened.

Similar events in Portland between groups with different ideas or political affiliations resulted in violent clashes. Sunday’s events came on the first anniversary of a particularly violent political clash in which opposing groups scuffled in the streets next to police headquarters for hours.

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