One shot dead in Portland as rival protesters clash

PORTLAND-PROTESTAS

(Reuters) - One person was shot dead in Portland late on Saturday as protesters from rival groups clashed in the northwest U.S. city, which has seen frequent demonstrations for months that have at times turned violent.

Police said in statements that both the death and protest violence occurred in downtown Portland. However, they did not immediately link the shooting death to the protests.

"(Police) responded and located a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Medical responded and determined that the victim was deceased," a Portland police spokesman said in an emailed statement.

"A Homicide Investigation is underway."

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Unrest in Portland
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Unrest in Portland
PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29: Portland police hold back a man who was with the victim of a fatal shooting as he reacts in minutes after the incident on August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Far left counter-protesters and pro-Trump supporters clashed Saturday afternoon as a parade of cars carrying right wing supporters made their way from nearby Clackamas to Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
A man is being treated after being shot Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Fights broke out in downtown Portland Saturday night as a large caravan of supporters of President Donald Trump drove through the city, clashing with counter-protesters. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
A Black Lives Matter supporter holds a sign as supporters of President Donald Trump attend a rally and car parade Saturday, Aug. 20, 2020, from Clackamas to Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
Supporters of President Donald Trump attend a rally and car parade Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, from Clackamas to Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
Demonstrators converged outside of Clackamas Town Center before looping around downtown via the freeways, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Fights broke out in downtown Portland as a large caravan of supporters of President Donald Trump drove through the city, clashing with counter-protesters. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)
A caravan of supporters of President Donald Trump drive in downtown Portland, Ore., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. Saturday's rally was the third consecutive weekend that pro-Trump demonstrators converged in and around Portland, leading to clashes with counter protesters. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)
PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29: A Portland police officer ties a police line around the scene of a fatal shooting near a pro-Trump rally on August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Far left counter-protesters and pro-Trump supporters clashed Saturday afternoon as a parade of cars carrying right wing supporters made their way from nearby Clackamas to Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29: Pro-Trump supporters drive into downtown during a rally in support of the president on August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Far left counter-protesters and pro-Trump supporters clashed Saturday afternoon as a parade of cars carrying right wing supporters made their way from nearby Clackamas to Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - AUGUST 28: About two hundred persons protesting police brutality spray graffiti and start fires at the Portland Police Union building, in Portland, Oregon, United States on August 28, 2020, the 93rd day of consecutive protests. Police declared a riot and arrested many people. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - AUGUST 28: About two hundred persons protesting police brutality spray graffiti and start fires at the Portland Police Union building, in Portland, Oregon, United States on August 28, 2020, the 93rd day of consecutive protests. Police declared a riot and arrested many people. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - AUGUST 28: About two hundred persons protesting police brutality spray graffiti and start fires at the Portland Police Union building, in Portland, Oregon, United States on August 28, 2020, the 93rd day of consecutive protests. Police declared a riot and arrested many people. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - AUGUST 28: About two hundred persons protesting police brutality spray graffiti and start fires at the Portland Police Union building, in Portland, Oregon, United States on August 28, 2020, the 93rd day of consecutive protests. Darryl Turner is the chief of the Portland Police Union. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 29: Portland police disperse a crowd after protesters set fire to the Portland Police Association (PPA) building early in the morning August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The PPA, a headquarters for the Portland police union, has been a regular target during the 93 days of protests in Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON, USA - AUGUST 28: Protesters hold banners during a demonstration led by the NAACP and a youth group, Fridays 4 Freedom, to commemorate Martin Luther Kingâs 1963 Washington DC march, at the Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, on August 28, 2020. The protest, organized by the Oregon NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), drew many participants as similar Black Lives Matter events took place across the country. (Photo by John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Demonstrator Dana Parks reacts as she is detained by a police officer during a protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon, U.S., July 26, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs REFILE - CORRECTING LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Federal law enforcement officers, deployed under the Trump administration's new executive order to protect federal monuments and buildings, face off with protesters against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon, U.S., July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A protestor reacts during a demonstration against the presence of federal law enforcement officers and racial inequality in Portland, Oregon, U.S., July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Demonstrators gather in front of Multnomah County Justice Center to protest against racial inequality and police violence in downtown Portland, Oregon, U.S., July 25, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A federal law enforcement officer holds pepper balls during a protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon, U.S., July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A demonstrator reacts during a protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon, U.S., July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Sounds of gunfire were heard in the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street, according to the spokesman's statement.

The police said they were not currently releasing suspect information.

When asked by Reuters if the shooting was related to clashes between rival protesters in the same area, the spokesman said "it is too early in the investigation to draw those kinds of conclusions".

The New York Times and the Oregonian newspapers reported that a large group of supporters of President Donald Trump had traveled in a caravan through downtown Portland, with a pro-Trump gathering drawing hundreds of trucks full of supporters into the city.

The Times cited two unidentified witnesses as saying a small group of people got into an argument with other people in a vehicle and someone opened fire.

The man who was shot and killed was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in Portland that has clashed with protesters in the past, according to the New York Times. Reuters could not independently verify this.

Portland police earlier said in a tweet that a "political rally is caravanning throughout downtown Portland" and that there had been "some instances of violence between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators."

Police had intervened and made some arrests, they said in the tweet.

The New York Times reported that Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed on the streets, with people shooting paint ball guns from the beds of pickup trucks and protesters throwing objects back at them.

The pro-Trump vehicle rally began near Clackamas Town Center before reaching Portland on Saturday evening, with clashes breaking out thereafter between Trump supporters and counter-protesters, the Oregonian reported.

It added that the shooting took place after most of the caravan had left downtown.

Demonstrations against racism and police brutality have swept the United States since the death in May of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Tensions between rival protest groups have roiled downtown Portland every night for nearly three months following Floyd's death.

The Trump administration in July deployed federal forces to Portland to crack down on the protests.

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