One woman died and five others were injured following a mass shooting near Normandale Park in Portland on Saturday night. The victims were part of a group gathered to protest against the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke.
The 22-year-old was shot dead by a Minneapolis police SWAT team member following a no-knock-warrant raid on his apartment on February 4. Reportedly, the shooting took place after Locke, who was asleep at the time, suddenly stood up holding his legally-owned handgun following the police busting in through the apartment door.
Shootout Occurred Between Homeowner and Protesters
KPTV reported that as per the preliminary investigation, the shooting, which started just before 8.00 pm, was following a confrontation between an armed homeowner and armed protesters. The injured people, two men and three women, were taken to the nearby hospitals in unknown conditions, police said.
In a statement, the Portland Police Bureau described the scene as 'extremely chaotic' and the witnesses being uncooperative. "Most people left without talking to police. Detectives believe a large number of people either witnessed what happened or recorded the incident as it unfolded. This is a very complicated incident, and investigators are trying to put this puzzle together without having all the pieces," the statement said.
Speaking to Oregon Public Broadcasting, eyewitnesses said that they saw a person come out of a nearby home and confront a group of protesters following which he shot into the crowd.
Who is the Mass Shooter?
The identity of the mass shooter has not been released by the police. Social media was demanding the release of the shooter's identity, with few even debating the role of the police.
"Portland Police are stalling the release of info about the mass shooter. Now take the bizarre public comments Ted Wheeler made, with the sudden rush of news stories describing the mass shooting as a "clash" involving a "local homeowner". They're bracing for a bad news cycle," wrote a user.
"If the protestors in Portland didn't want police to see their videos of the shootings, it's pretty clear that the homeowner was NOT at fault..." wrote another user.
"We had a mass shooting last night. Our local cops keep calling the shooter "a homeowner" and are refusing to say if he's been arrested (which means "no.") I cannot overstate how terrible the policing situation is in Portland," opined another.