PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 12 (UPI) — Two people were arrested for attempted murder Saturday after a protester blocking traffic as part of an anti-Trump march in Portland, Ore., was shot by a motorist.
Witnesses told Portland Patch the man was part of a group marching on the Morrison Bridge, blocking traffic early Saturday at the tail end of a fourth night of unruly, sometimes violent protests in the wake of Donald Trump‘s victory in Tuesday’s presidential election. A male suspect in a gray or silver sedan confronted the unsanctioned protest and warned them to get off the bridge. When they refused, the man allegedly opened fire, striking one protester.
The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
It was unclear if the shooting was motivated by political anger or an incident of road rage, but a police spokesman said the shooter and the victim did not know each other and the shooter was not part of the anti-Trump protest, according to The Oregonian.
Later Saturday, an off-duty officer spotted the suspect’s vehicle and police were able to execute a traffic stop. Four individuals were taken in for questioning and a handgun was recovered. Two of the individuals initially detained were not charged.
Portland has seen anti-Trump protests turn violent in the wake of the election. Police in riot gear used tear gas and flash grenades to disperse a crowd that became unruly, smashing windows, throwing burning projectiles and spray-painting graffiti. Portland Patch reported 17 individuals were arrested Friday, the fourth night of protests.
Initially the protests in the wake of the election remained peaceful. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales instructed police to take a light hand and allow people to register their displeasure, even if they were blocking traffic with impromptu protests. That strategy appeared to backfire Thursday, when protests turned into riots that went on unchecked for several hours, with windows smashed and cars vandalized.
Eventually, police in riot gear were forced to intervene.
Officials estimated the protests have caused more than $1 million in damages so far across the city.
Though Portland has been among the cities hit hardest by protests in the wake of the election, it is far from alone.
At the University of Oklahoma, a student was suspended after targeting black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania with racial slurs and threats of lynching via the text messaging app GroupMe. A group of 161 individuals was created on the app, including dozens of black freshmen at Penn and the perpetrators in Oklahoma. The suspects sent images of old lynchings and, using the schedule function, scheduled a “daily lynching” of a black person. The Penn students were addressed using racial epithets.
Another student at Oklahoma State University also has been identified as one of the originators of the group, though that school has not made a statement about the incident.
Though University of Oklahoma officials announced one student had been temporarily suspended, why students at a school half-way across the country were targeted remains unclear, though Penn is Trump’s alma mater. The fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon was also mentioned in the text messages, a potential link between the campuses.
Both schools are cooperating, and the FBI is investigating the threats.
In a statement, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann called the messages “totally repugnant” and “thoroughly disgusting.”