A man was shot and killed late Saturday in Portland as a large caravan of hundreds of trucks filled with supporters of President Donald Trump made its way through the city’s downtown and clashed with groups of counter protesters along the way. It was unclear whether the shooting was directly connected to the clashing protests but it seems certain that it will be considering all the immediately available information. Footage from the scene shows that the man who was killed was wearing a hat with the logo of Patriot Prayer, the far-right group that has clashed with protesters in Portland numerous times over the past few weeks. The man also appeared to be wearing a “Thin Blue Line” patch on his shorts, which normally indicates support for police.
The shooting took place after numerous confrontations between the people who took part in the pro-Trump rally and counter-protesters, which sometimes devolved into fistfights. Organizers of the rally had encouraged attendees to carry weapons to the protest, but not do so openly. Police said the shooting took place in an area through which the pro-Trump caravan had passed only minutes earlier. The caravan had left downtown Portland at around 8:30 p.m. and the gunshots were heard at about 8:46 p.m., according to a police statement.
There have been nightly protests in Portland for the past three months ever since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolils. And this marked the third weekend there have been clashes between Pro-Trump demonstrators and counterprotesters that had grown increasingly violent. Last weekend, Portland police came under heavy criticism after right-wing demonstrators violently attacked counterprotesters. One right-wing activist even pointed a gun at the crowd but didn’t fire.
The increased violence in Portland comes as Trump has continually focused on criticizing the unrest in Portland and calling on the city’s politicians to end the protests. At the Republican National Convention, Trump and other speakers pointed to Portland as a cautionary tale for cities across America. On Friday, Trump sad the federal government would go into Portland if the mayor was unable to keep things under control. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler fired back in a letter saying that when federal officials came into the city things were worse. The shooting in Portland marks the end of a violent week in the United States that began with the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wis.