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Feb-23-2022 00:17printcomments

Man Charged With Murder After Mass Shooting in Portland

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Four others were hospitalized with injuries.

shooting

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced nine charges filed against 43-year old Benjamin Smith including 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.

DA Schmidt also sought and received a warrant for Smith’s arrest.

On Saturday, February 19, 2022, Portland police officers responded to reports of gunshots at the intersection of NE 55th Ave and NE Hassalo St. Upon arrival they learned that multiple people were suffering from gunshot wounds and receiving emergency medical aid.

After procuring medical transport for those injured, police established a perimeter and began an investigation.

Subsequent investigation including video evidence revealed that Smith had confronted a group of people engaged in an organized demonstration at Normandale Park.

Smith, wrongly referred to as "the homeowner" many times in previous news reports, actually lives at an apartment complex about a block from the area in the park where demonstrators were gathering.

Benjamin Smith approached several participants, yelling at them to leave the park. Several participants asked Smith to leave them alone.

Moments later, Smith drew a firearm and fired at the crowd, striking five people. The shooting ended after Smith was shot in the hip area.

One victim, Brandy "June" Knightly, a 60-year old woman also known as T-Rex, was pronounced dead at the scene. Four other people were subsequently hospitalized with varying degrees of injury.

According to KGW, one of the victims was hit by a bullet in the neck and is paralyzed from the neck down; another victim was struck by bullets in multiple places and is still hospitalized (as of Tuesday); and one victim was hit in the upper arm and was treated at a hospital and released.

Smith was also hospitalized and is currently in serious condition but is expected to survive.

Portland Police Bureau officers have remained with Smith at the hospital continuously since he was admitted. A warrant for his arrest was signed today by a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge.

Law enforcement is aware that critical evidence was removed from the scene by witnesses. We ask that this evidence be returned to investigators immediately.

Anyone with information or evidence related to this incident please contact the Case Tip Hotline at 503-988-0340 or Portland Police Bureau detectives, Scott Broughton, at Scott.Broughton@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-3774, or Detective Rico Beniga Rico.Beniga@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0457.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office thanks the Portland Police Bureau for their work on this case.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Smith is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Source: Multnomah County District Attorney; KGW; other sources

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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