File photo: Flag burning by Portland protesters

AGENCY REPORT

One person was shot and killed on Saturday night in downtown Portland, the largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon, as tensions between a group of U.S. President Donald Trump’s supporters and anti-racist protesters escalated.

The shooting took place at 8:46 p.m. local time (0346 GMT Sunday) as police officers “heard sounds of gunfire from the area of Southeast 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street,” said Portland Police Bureau in a statement.

It said police officers have secured the entire block at the crime scene and are investigating the shooting as a homicide, adding “no suspect information is being released at this time.”

“There have been some instances of violence between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators. Officers have intervened and in some cases made arrests,” it tweeted.

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died from asphyxiation after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May.

His death sparked massive demonstrations against police brutality and racism, as well as social unrest in some U.S. cities, including Portland.

In his acceptance speech of the Republican Party’s nomination for reelection on Thursday night, Trump did not address the shooting or the issue of racism.

Instead, he touted job numbers for African Americans, doubled down his support of law enforcement agencies, and blamed the unrest in those cities on Democrats and leftist anarchists.

*Reported by Xinhua/NAN