Portland shooting victim Aaron Danielson's friend said that his pal was "executed" over his conservative views.
Civil Unrest Claims Another Victim In Portland
Chandler Pappas said that he was with the gunned down victim Aaron "Jay" Danielson, identified by Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, as part of the right-wing group in Portland on Saturday. As counterprotesters gathered for the 95th consecutive day to protest police brutality and racial injustice, a huge pro-Trump caravan drove through the city and the two groups clashed intense confrontations turning violent.
"We have a First Amendment in the country," Pappas said. "And for whatever reason, there seems to be this opposition that thinks we can't do that. They have been attacking us for years. Really for decades in the grand scheme of things but very heavily in Portland."
A video on social media showed a man who suddenly fell on the ground, and other people trying to assist him. After that, there was gunfire near an intersection as vehicles and pedestrians walked by. The victim’s friend said he and Danielson were at the protest when someone saw their Patriot Prayer caps.
"'We got a couple of them right here. Pull it out,'" the attackers said, according to Pappas' account.
The shooter then opened fire and ran off, he said.
"They executed my partner," he said. "They hunted him down."
In the past several years, Patriot Prayer and Antifa members have frequently clashed in Portland with many confrontations escalating into violence.
The police in Portland are investigating Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, for his alleged involvement in the shooting. According to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, Danielson's manner of death was a homicide and the man died from a gunshot to the chest.
Pappas said the shooter was dressed in white and stood out of the crowd as Antifa members are usually dressed in black.
The victim’s friend believes it was a ransom shooting, but that attackers were searching "for somebody to hurt."
"I think the two of us alone away from all the rest of the Trump rally with all the trucks and all the other noise going on, I think they isolated us and they thought they could get away with it," Pappas said. "I think they were looking for somebody just like us who were down there unprotected who didn't go and bring guns because we didn't have the intention of killing people."
Just a few hours before the shooting, Pappas and Danielson were interviewed by the Portland Tribune. According to the report, both men were armed with a paintball gun, mace, knives, and other tactical gear. There is no information if the men carried those items on them at the time of the shooting.
In a plea to Donald Trump, Pappas asked the US President to send "troops" to Portland to dissuade the violence that has occurred nightly, leading to shootings, vandalism, and assaults against protesters and authorities. Trump has threatened to meddle if local leaders don't deal with the increasing turmoil in the city.
During the interview for Portland Tribune, Pappas pointed out that he believes there is a difference in the treatment of protesters and Patriot Prayer members by local prosecutors.
"I have a friend sitting right behind here who is being charged currently with a felony riot while the DA [Multnomah County District Attorney's Office] is letting all these actual rioters out on the street and he was just out there waving an American flag," Chandler Pappas said.