PORTLAND, Ore. — A suspect in the mass shooting outside Normandale Park in Northeast Portland on Saturday night is now facing 9 charges.
Investigators say four women and two men were shot at Northeast 55th and Hassalo around 8:00pm. A woman who died has been identified as 60-year-old Brandy “June” Knightly, who reportedly went by “T-Rex”. She was killed in the city’s 16th homicide of the year.
Police on Tuesday identified the suspect as 43-year-old Benjamin Smith. He’s in the hospital in serious condition and is expected to survive. Smith is charged with one count of Murder in the Second Degree with a firearm, four counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree with a firearm, two counts of Assault in the first degree with a firearm and two counts of Assault in the Second Degree with a firearm. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Police remain with Smith in the hospital and will arrest him as soon as he is able to be discharged.
Reports are that Smith, who lives in a nearby apartment complex, confronted a group gathered in protest of shootings by police and told them to leave. Witnesses say at least 10 gunshots were exchanged and somebody returned fire, hitting Smith in the hip.
A neighbor walking her dog says she saw the muzzle flash and ran for cover.
Detectives say witnesses removed critical evidence before officers arrived and they’re asking that anyone with evidence including video to contact them.
“I saw 20-40 people right after the shooting that I assumed were helping out before the police responded”, said another neighbor.
The group planned to protest over the death of Amir Locke, who was shot and killed by police in Minneapolis a few weeks ago and Patrick Kimmons, who was shot and killed by Portland Police in 2018.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Police Chief Chuck Lovell, U.S. Attorney for Oregon Scott Asphaug, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and FBI Special Agent In Charge Kieran Ramsey addressed the weekend of gun violence in Portland on Tuesday morning: