The Oregonian reported that authorities responded to reports of gunfire in downtown Portland and an apparent victim was treated at a hospital after being taken there in a private vehicle. The report pointed out that it was not immediately clear if the shooting was related to the protest, which marked its 60th consecutive night in the city.
“As police were securing the scene a person arrived at a hospital by private vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound, non-life-threatening,” police said in a statement. “That person seems to have been associated with the incident near SW 4th Avenue and SW Salmon Street. Portland Police are still investigating.”
KATU reported that the shooting occurred about a block from where protesters have been clashing with police and U.S. agents. Tweets from the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse indicate another large crowd late Sunday.
Police said they found a bag containing loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails at a nearby park. A photo of the items was shared in a tweet from police late Sunday saying someone pointed out the bag to officers at Lownsdale Square Park late Sunday. No further information was immediately released. It wasn’t clear if either incident was connected to the demonstrations.
The protest late Sunday started peacefully, but intensified early Monday. Some demonstrators crowded around the fence surrounding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland and shot of fireworks. U.S. agents deployed gas and flash bangs, and warned protesters to stay off federal property.
Portland has seen protests for weeks after the death of George Floyd in police custody and demonstrators have set fires, vandalized buildings and smashed windows.
Chad Wolf, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, painted a disturbing picture in the city on “Sunday Morning Futures” and said protesters have been armed with bats, power tools and have targeted “their violence on federal courthouses and federal law enforcement officers.”
The shooting on Sunday night would mark the second reported shooting near the protest. Authorities said one person suffered “numerous gunshot wounds” early Sunday, which occurred at the same time that police were forced to respond to another riot at the location. That victim had non-life-threatening injuries.
There has been growing criticism in the city directed toward Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, who has clashed publically with President Trump over the deployment of federal troops in the city.
Last week, he addressed a crowd of protesters and was booed and heckled. While he spoke, protesters displayed a list of demands on the justice center that included defunding the police by at least 50 percent and free all protesters from jail.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson Danielle Wallace and the Associated Press contributed to this report