The man shot dead in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night after a tense pro-Trump truck parade through downtown was named Aaron “Jay” Danielson, according to Joey Gibson, founder of the far-right group Patriot Prayer. Danielson, who also apparently went by Jay Bishop, was wearing a Patriot Prayer hat when he was shot. Portland police have not provided any information on the shooting, including whether they believe it was connected to clashes between supporters of President Trump and counterprotesters.
Portland police are investigating a 48-year-old man as a possible suspect in the shooting, The Oregonian reports. The man, who was photographed walking away from the scene of the shooting, has described himself as a professional snowboarder and contractor, was cited for carrying a loaded gun at a July 5 demonstration. He wrote in a June 16 post that “today’s protesters and antifa are my brothers in arms,” he is “100 percent antifa” and he’s “willing to fight for my brothers and sisters!” The Oregonian reports.
His social media pages Sunday were full of messages such as: “You better pray to God that the law gets to you first … Because The Patriots are Storming!!”
The Patriot Prayer group, founded in 2016, has been a regular presence in Portland, even though it is based across the river in Washington state. Its demonstrations, sometimes with allied far-right groups like the Proud Boys, have often led to violent confrontations. Mike Baker, Seattle bureau chief for The New York Times, live-tweeted Saturday’s truck parade, and he described the group’s unscheduled detour through downtown on MSNBC Sunday.
Portland Mayor Tom Wheeler urged calm in a press conference Sunday, specifically asking people “seeking retribution” to stay out of Portland. “This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter that some guy made up in his mother’s basement,” he said. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced late Sunday that the Oregon State Police will return to downtown Portland to help the widely criticized local police. “We all must come together — elected officials, community leaders, all of us — to stop the cycle of violence,” she said.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “unequivocally” condemned “this violence” and “every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right.” Trump criticized Wheeler and tweeted, “Rest in peace Jay!” Peter Weber