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1 killed in Portland after counter-demonstrators clash with Trump rally

One person was shot and killed near a downtown Portland protests Saturday. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian/Dave Killen/The Oregonian/TNS)

A man was fatally shot in the chest late Saturday night in Portland as a pro-Trump group clashed with counter-protesters downtown.

After hearing gunfire around 8:45 p.m. local time, Portland police found the man dead at the scene, officials said.

Anyone who was a witness, has video or has information about the incident is urged to contact the Portland Police Department.

“It is still early in this investigation, and I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement.

“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.”

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Police provided no information about either the victim or the gunman, but the Willamette Week reported that the man who was fatally shot was wearing a hat with a logo for Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group accused of drawing white supremacists to its rallies in the Pacific Northwest.

A planned “Trump 2020 Cruise Rally in Portland” began Saturday afternoon at Clackamas Town Center mall and seemingly ended in Portland.

Social media footage from the area showed trucks with Thin Blue Lives and All Lives Matter flags.

Portland police said pedestrians and drivers “periodically exchanged words” as the cars drove through downtown, as well as reports of “fights, disturbances and collisions.”

At least 10 people were arrested during Saturday night’s protests, primarily for disorderly conduct.

Portland has seen almost nightly protests since the May killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

President Trump spent much of Sunday morning retweeting conservatives’ tweets about the chaos, including criticism for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

“The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching and incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing,” Trump tweeted. “The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer. The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!”

Wheeler said Friday in a public letter to Trump that he was rejecting federal assistance to quell the protests.

“We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery,” he wrote.

“Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.”

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©2020 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.