Portland Police say they have identified the suspect in a shooting that took place over the weekend at an Antifa event that left one person dead and five others injured.
A press release published on Tuesday confirmed the identity of the suspect as 43-year-old Benjamin Smith, who is now in hospital in serious condition.
The victim in this shooting is identified as 60-year-old Brandy Knightly. “The Medical Examiner’s Office has determined her manner and cause of death to be homicide by a gunshot wound,” the statement reads. Knightly’s family has been notified of her death.
Police wrote: The suspect in this shooting is identified as 43-year-old Benjamin Smith. Smith remains hospitalized in serious condition. Detectives are working closely with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to share facts and evidence for review to determine potential charges against Smith.
It was reported by police that people at the scene actually removed evidence that may have been critical, prior to the police’s arrival to the scene, including video.
“People at the scene removed critical evidence before officers arrived. Investigators ask that anyone with that evidence, as well as video, please contact police as these items are important to the investigation,” they say. “Detectives would also like to speak with witnesses who left the scene without providing a statement, which could be useful in the case.”
“Although the woman who died at the scene has been informally named by outside entities, the Portland Police Bureau will not formally release her identity until after we have spoken with her family directly,” the statement continues.
Police say the shooting took place at around 8 pm, and that members of Antifa told members at the event not to talk to police, and to delete evidence posted on to Twitter and Facebook. They were also told not to give eye-witness testimonies and keep first-hand accounts to a minimum to avoid police contact.
“Most people on the scene left without talking to police,” they wrote on Sunday. “Detectives believe a large number of people either witnessed what happened, or recorded the incident as it unfolded. This is a very complicated incident, and investigators are trying to put this puzzle together without having all the pieces.”