“I can’t say much right now. All I can do is verify that he was a good friend and a supporter of Patriot Prayer,” Prayer founder Joey Gibson confirmed to Associated Press on Wednesday, promising a longer statement later in the day.
He did not confirm the victim’s identity and neither have police. The man was believed to be part of the group; he was reportedly wearing a hat that bore the Patriot Prayer group’s name.
The shooting occurred Saturday night after Trump supporters clashed with Black Lives Matter demonstrators in downtown Portland. Previously, a grainy video showed the scene of the shooting from afar. Just before two shots are fired, someone appears to yell “we got a Trumper here,” although others are now saying it sounds like “a couple here” to them instead.
New footage shows the man lying face down on the ground and a man rushing to his aid. He appears to know the victim, fruitlessly calling him by name. A ‘medic’ in Antifa-type uniform quickly arrives, but is pushed away by the man, only to then be told by another protester that she is “trying to help.”
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has warned that the investigation is in its early stages and people should not “draw conclusions about what took place.” He asked the public to come forward with any information regarding the shooting.
“If anyone can provide information about this case, I ask them to please reach out to our detectives. This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible,” Lovell said in a statement.
Conservatives have taken to social media to call the shooting intentional and politically motivated. The new footage is only inciting people further, with some pundits labeling the incident an “execution.”
President Donald Trump has said he wants to deploy the National Guard to Portland to help control the ongoing riots, which have continued for nearly 100 nights straight, but Mayor Ted Wheeler has rejected federal assistance.
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