The streets of Portland turned into the wild west on Sunday night when a man wearing a purple scarf and tan boonie hat crouched over a garbage can and opened fire on a group of demonstrators.
The gunman, identified by cops as Dennis G. Anderson, also appeared to dodge a volley of gunfire during the dust-up in downtown Portland. The fracas followed a Proud Boys reunion in an abandoned KMart parking lot earlier in the day.
No injuries were reported in the shooting.
Anderson was taken into custody shortly after the shooting and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon. It was not clear whether the suspect was part of a group of protesters.
Videos of the shootout downtown circulated on social media. In the video, Anderson fires a handgun and dodges fire behind a garbage can on a street corner.
Left wing activist Dustin Brandon Ferreira, 37, told the paper the man used a slur against a black man in his group and then fired multiple rounds in their direction.
According to The Oregonian, the shooter had told one of its reporters that the left-wing activists were “the real fascists,” earlier in the afternoon.
In the Northeast section of the city, far-right activists moved their demonstration to the parking lot of an abandoned K-Mart, where videos appeared to show the group firing paintball weapons at vehicles passing by and tipping over a handicap-accessible van.
The event was held to commemorate violent clashes that took place in the city on Aug. 22 last year.
Groups clashed on that side of town as well, where both sides were armed with bats, chemical spray and other weapons.
Proud Boys member Tusitala “Tiny” Toese told The Oregonian his group had moved their event to the northeast side of the city to avoid clashes with counter-protesters.
“We relocated the rally to avoid the altercation and the violence between us and the people on the left, but if they do show up here, we’re going to defend ourselves,” Toese said.
PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said on Friday that his department is down 145 officers from the same time last year as the bureau struggles to retain and recruit new officers.
Due to the constraints, he said his officers would not be able to engage in pre-planned marches that may become violent, and warned that they would not on Sunday..
“As stated before today’s events, officers were not deployed to stand in between individuals intent on confronting one another,” PPB said in a press release on the incidents on Sunday evening that did not acknowledge the shooting.
“But that does not mean the crimes committed will not be addressed. Arrests do not always happen in the moment. As in past such events, we are conducting follow-up investigations, gathering evidence and will make arrests when probably cause exists that specific persons committed crimes.