PORTLAND, Oregon — The Multnomah County medical examiner confirmed Monday afternoon 39-year-old Aaron Danielson of Portland was the man shot and killed in Portland Saturday night. Everyone called him Jay, including Joey Gibson, leader of Patriot Prayer, who called Danielson a “good friend and supporter” of the right-wing group.
“Jay's one of the nicest guys that you'll ever meet. Anyone that knows him -- it doesn't matter if you're far-left or conservative, no one would ever want to hurt this guy. He is one of the nicest guys I've seriously have ever met in my entire life,” said Gibson.
Gibson's group and other supporters of President Donald Trump converged a caravan on Portland Saturday, taking on people that lined the streets to oppose them.
It got ugly, with paintballs fired from passing trucks, and bear mace sprayed on the crowd by some in the caravan. There were again, fights in the streets. Then, it got uglier.
Justin Dunlap experienced the shooting firsthand. He was livestreaming as things at Southwest 3rd Avenue and Alder Street turned deadly. He heard some yelling and saw Danielson deploy mace before he was shot.
“And instantly, a half second later, the gunshots rang out: just two quick reports and the victim turned, took a few steps and fell. The other two went the opposite direction on the street,” said Dunlap, who has been livestreaming protests on Facebook. Dunlap has a website called Democracy Field Trip.
What Dunlap captured on his livestream was a horrible scene, as police and medics moved in and moved others out, while Danielson was dead in the street.
Dunlap gave his video to police as evidence. He's watched it over and over.
It brings all kinds of emotions, including relief he wasn't closer when it happened.
“If I see a fight going on I'd be like, ‘There's a fight, lets go see what's going on,' and then I would have been way closer to the gunfire that easily could have turned on me, and that would have been horrible on all the levels," he said.
Dunlap wants justice for the victim, but also blames right-wing tactics for stoking aggressions.
“What a selfish thing to do to enact that kind of impact on change that’s good, and then such bad happens to it,” said Dunlap.
President Trump said his supporters and paintballs are not to blame.
“They had large numbers of people that were supporters and that was a peaceful protest and paint as a defensive mechanism. Paint is not bullets,” said Trump at a Monday afternoon news conference.
And Trump supporter Joey Gibson agrees.
“Jay was in his own town walking around, and he got attacked. So, I don't know what else we could have done differently,” said Gibson.
So far, police have not identified a suspect or suspects in the shooting. They ask for patience as they investigate, and they remind people that not everything they see online is true.