As protesters continue to clash in often violent confrontations across the U.S., Portland, Oregon, remains a constant site of ongoing civil unrest. That troubling trend culminated in the death of one counterprotester in the city on Sunday, according to reports.
The deceased man has been identified as Aaron Jay Danielson, and one man says they were at the scene together just ahead of the shooting, claiming that they had been specifically targeted because of their right-wing political views, as reported by the Daily Wire.
“They hunted him down”
Danielson and his friend were reportedly representing the local Christian conservative group Patriot Prayer when they attended a counterprotest in Portland over the weekend.
Those who came with the group were wearing hats identifying themselves as such.
In a subsequent interview with the Common Sense Conservative, the man identified as Danielson’s friend elaborated on what he described as a political assassination.
“They executed my partner, they hunted him down, they hunted us down,” he said. “They recognized our Patriot Prayer hats.”
One of the attackers reportedly yelled “pull it out, pull it out” upon recognizing the hat, the witness recalled.
“It didn’t even register”
“We turned around, I didn’t even, it didn’t even register that somebody was pointing a gun at us until the shots went off and they took off running. … The shooter took off running and, you know, it takes a second for you to process everything that happened, you know,” he said.
Jay was executed for being a Trump supporter. pic.twitter.com/AmnA1hLhXq
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 31, 2020
Asserting that his friend was a “good man” who did not espouse any of the hatred his killers might have ascribed to him, the witness said that Danielson was dead simply “because he believed something different” and “didn’t do anything to earn a bullet in the chest.”
Asked what President Donald Trump could do to help restore order, he recommended that the administration “send troops.” As for when he believes it should happen, he replied, “90 days ago.”
Any loss of life in such a senseless manner is a tragedy. If ongoing protests are allowed to continue unabated in cities nationwide, though, Danielson’s is likely to be just one of numerous similar stories of political activism turned deadly.