1 Dead, 5 Hurt After Homeowner Angry at Protest Opens Fire

4 of the victims were working as traffic safety volunteers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 21, 2022 12:41 AM CST
1 Dead, 5 Hurt After Homeowner Angry at Protest March Opens Fire
Portland police respond, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, to a shooting in the area of Normandale Park in Northeast Portland, Ore.   (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

A shooting that left one person dead and five others injured in Portland, Ore., happened during a confrontation between a homeowner and protesters at a park where a march was planned to protest police violence, authorities said Sunday. Officers responding to Normandale Park Saturday night found one woman dead, and two men and three other women were taken to the hospital, the Portland Police Bureau said. Their conditions have not been released, and police have not named anyone involved in the shooting, the AP reports. “The scene was extremely chaotic, and a number of witnesses were uncooperative with responding officers,” the police department said in a statement. “Most people on scene left without talking to police. ... This is a very complicated incident, and investigators are trying to put this puzzle together without having all the pieces.”

A woman who was shot tells the Portland Mercury a man exited his home with a gun as she and three other women worked as traffic safety volunteers to direct traffic away from the march. "He walked up to us yelling about protestors in his neighborhood and opened fire within 90 seconds," she says. Lt. Nathan Sheppard, a spokesman for the department, said during a virtual news conference Sunday that it would be “irresponsible” to say if anyone had been arrested. He did not explain why when pressed by reporters, and did not provide other details about the circumstances of the shooting. A live news conference earlier Sunday to discuss the violence in Portland was interrupted by protesters who began yelling anti-police sentiments. Social media flyers show that at the same time as the shooting, a march was planned for Amir Locke, a Black man who was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis, KOIN-TV reported.

Portland, Oregon's largest city, saw months of nightly protests in 2020 that often spiraled into violence following the murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Portland became the center of the movement to defund the police, but the sustained protests in the city have largely faded away. The city is now dealing with a plague of gun violence. Police responded to six shootings within a nine-hour span between Thursday night and early Friday. Shortly before Saturday night’s shooting at Normandale Park, police who were called to a separate disturbance shot and killed one of the people involved. Last year was marked by record-high gun violence in Portland. The city recorded 90 homicides in 2021, shattering its previous high of 66, set more than three decades ago.

(Read more Portland, Oregon stories.)

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