Portland news crew witnesses shooting while covering homeless encampment

Reporter Blair Best and photojournalist Ken McCormick were at the border of the camp when they witnessed two men get into a fight, one using "what appeared to be a large, ax-like weapon," that ended in a gunshot.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Tuesday morning, staff from local Portland outlet KGW8 were covering a group of anarchists' attack on the beloved Belmont Goats in retaliation for the planned demolition of an adjacent homeless encampment when they witnessed someone in the camp get shot by another resident.

The camp, located just off the Peninsula Crossing Trail in northwestern Portland, has been deemed a "hot spot" by city officials and is slated to be cleared in the near future to make way for a new "safe rest village" that will better accommodate the area's homeless population.

According to KGW8, reporter Blair Best and photojournalist Ken McCormick were at the border of the camp when they witnessed two men get into a fight, one hitting the other with "what appeared to be a large, ax-like weapon." A gunshot rang out, and one of the men fell to the ground before limping into the forest.

The crew called 911, as did a neighbor, and the police showed up ten minutes later. Most of the homeless people refused to speak with law enforcement, but there were reports circulating that someone had been shot in the leg. No further information has been released.

Late Monday night, the area played host to another crime, this time involving the Belmont Goats, whose enclosure also fences off parts of the homeless encampment.

The city had informed the goats' owners that as part of the aforementioned "safe rest village" plan, they would have to move the herd to a nearby plot of land that is also currently populated with homeless people. A group of anarchists, believing that the Belmont Goats' owners were to blame, slashed the fence allowing seven of the animals to escape.

Thankfully, all seven were returned with the help of a homeless man, and the fence was fixed with zip ties.

"People don't know where to go," the anarchists wrote in a letter pinned to the fence. "People are desperate. Sweeps are a cruel, inhuman, and murderous way for the city to push people around."

"These goats are not at fault for the fact that their owners have decided to move them to a new enclosure," they continued, adding that nonetheless, "it's time for the Belmont Goats to enjoy a little walk in the park."

A Belmont Goats representative pushed back against the insinuation that they had anything to do with the planned move.

"They clearly don't understand that we are essentially being 'swept' too," they told KATU2. "We haven't gone to the media about our move prior to now because the city has been so poor at communicating their plans with us."


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