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Driver fires gunshots into the air after confrontation with demonstrators in downtown Portland

Video shows the driver pointing a handgun into the air and firing five shots.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Video shows a driver firing six gunshots into the air during a confrontation with demonstrators in downtown Portland early Thursday morning.

The videos shared on social media show a white car in the middle of a group of people. The group was near the base of the now-removed Thompson Elk statue on Southwest Main Street just after 1 a.m. when the driver slowly moved away from the group, held up a handgun and fired five shots into the air. 

A sixth shot can be heard after the car is nearly a block away.

Portland police said the shots were fired into the air and no one was injured. Officers on scene tried to track down the driver, but no arrest has been made.

A license plate captured on cell phone video shows the car registered to someone in the Salem area, but KGW was not able to track down the owner.

Officers said they were unable to canvass the area for evidence until the protests subsided. No evidence was recovered.

Watch the videos below (Warning: Language)

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the gunfire is among 29 gun-related incidents in Portland this month.

"Gunfire anywhere in the city concerns me," said Lovell. "Because we're in the business of public safety."

He said cutting the Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) when the city defunded part of the police bureau meant the loss of a valuable resource for investigating those shootings.

But he's especially worried about the shooting in the middle of a protest.

"When you have people firing guns indiscriminately where there are crowds - it’s just so dangerous and people can get hurt. So that definitely is a concern," he said.

The chief also said the nearly nightly violence downtown means longer wait times for people who need help outside the city's core.

Portland police said the incident is an open investigation and anyone with information should call the non-emergency number at 503-823-3333.

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