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Police identify man killed in Portland protests; state officers deployed

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Aug. 31 (UPI) — Police in Portland have identified the man fatally shot amid fighting between pro-Trump supporters and counter-protesters in the besieged Oregon city over the weekend as Gov. Kate Brown called on state officers for help as the protests near 100 consecutive nights.

Police positively identified the victim as Aaron J. Danielson in a statement on Monday, saying the 39-year-old died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

“The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has conducted an autopsy and determined the manner of death to be homicide and the cause of death gunshot wound of chest,” it read.

Police said Danielson was shot at about 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, the 94th night of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the city, amid fighting between a caravan of supporters for President Donald Trump and counter-protesters.

Danielson was reportedly wearing a hat with the logo of the far-right group Patriot Prayer on it.

The group hosts and promotes rallies in so-called progressive cities that frequently include various antigovernment extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, and often devolve into violence, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

No suspect has been named and detectives continue to investigate Danielson’s death, authorities said.

Late Sunday, Brown announced a play to call in state police amid the ongoing civil rights protests following Danielson’s death.

Brown said Trump supporters went to Portland “looking for a fight.”

Police said it wasn’t initially clear if the shooting death was linked to fights that broke out as a Trump caravan of about 600 vehicles were met by protesters in downtown Portland.

“We all must come together — elected officials, community leaders, all of us — to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said in a statement. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening to each other, and working together.”

Brown said part of her plan includes the Oregon State Police assisting local police and other law enforcement personnel, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI providing additional resources to investigate criminal activities.

“We are building a more just future,” Brown added. “I will continue to work with local leaders, law enforcement, and community leaders to bring all voices to the table to help end the nightly confrontations.”

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