Gunfire reported at Portland-area protest after Black man killed by deputies
Videos posted on social media early Saturday showed police in riot gear dispersing a crowd
Gunshots were reported around midnight Saturday during a protest in Vancouver, Wash., after a 21-year-old Black man was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies just outside the city Thursday night.
No one was hurt in Saturday’s shooting, according to a Twitter message posted by Sergio Olmos, a reporter with Oregon Public Broadcasting. It was unclear whether any suspects had been taken into custody in connection with the gunfire.
Vancouver, Wash., a city of about 190,000 residents, is located just across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., and is the fourth largest city in Washington state. It is not to be confused with Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a much larger city of some 675,000 residents located about 300 miles away to the north.
Videos posted on social media early Saturday showed police in riot gear on the streets of Vancouver, Wash., dispersing a crowd after midnight local time.
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On Friday night, about 1,000 people had gathered in downtown Vancouver for a vigil in memory of the man who was killed Thursday, who was identified as Kevin Peterson Jr., according to FOX 12 of Oregon.
The crowd included some of Peterson’s old teachers and his elementary school principal, the report said.
"We’re tired of our people dying. They don't have to kill people, you can just stop somebody without killing them," one vigil attendee said to the crowd, FOX 12 reported.
A small group of people with American flags and Trump flags got involved in minor confrontations with some vigil attendees, according to the station.
Peterson was killed in Hazel Dell, an unincorporated area just outside Vancouver, authorities said.
Just before 6 p.m. Thursday, law enforcement officers approached Peterson’s vehicle outside a motel because he was suspected of selling drugs, the Southwest Washington Independent Investigation Response Team said Friday, according to FOX 12.
Peterson initially fled on foot and allegedly showed a gun, prompting officers to back off. But when they met again shortly afterward, three Clark County sheriff’s deputies fired their weapons at Peterson, resulting in his death, FOX 12 reported.
Investigators found a Glock model 23, 40-caliber pistol near the site where Peterson was killed, KOIN-TV of Portland reported.
Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins said earlier Friday that Peterson had fired at the deputies but members of the investigation team did not immediately confirm that.
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The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, a common practice after an incident that results in officers using their weapons. The investigation was continuing.
In a statement Friday, the sheriff acknowledged that many details from the incident remained unclear, KOIN reported. He warned of “misinformation, doubt and confusion” before all the facts were learned and pledged “accountability and transparency” regarding the incident.