Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: Suspect in Normandale Park shooting charged with 9 counts, frigid weather continues Wednesday

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Wednesday, Feb. 23 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Suspect in Normandale Park shooting charged with nine counts

Just hours after police identified 43-year-old Benjamin Smith as the shooter accused of killing one woman and injuring four others at a rally at Normandale Park in northeast Portland on Saturday, the Multnomah County District Attorney filed nine criminal charges against him.

The charges include second-degree murder with a firearm, four counts of first-degree attempted murder with a firearm, two counts of first-degree assault with a firearm and two counts of second-degree assault with a firearm.

The affidavit describes what Portland police believe occurred leading up to the fatal shooting. Demonstrators gathered at Normandale Park on Saturday to march in honor of Amir Locke, a Black man killed by Minneapolis police serving a no-knock warrant on Feb. 2. According to court documents, Smith confronted demonstrators and demanded that they leave the area. Demonstrators told him to leave and pushed Smith back when he approached aggressively. Smith then drew a handgun and fired into the crowd, according to the affidavit.

To read more about the victims and PPB’s investigation into the shooting, click here.

2. OHA reports 3,400 new cases, 29 COVID-19-related deaths over long weekend

On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 3,400 new cases and 29 COVID-19-related deaths over the three-day weekend. The state’s total case count sits at 689,325 and the total death toll is now 6,485.

Of the reported cases, 513 were in Multnomah County, 420 were in Washington County and 287 were in Clackamas County.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide continues to drop. There are 597 people hospitalized currently, and of those patients, 109 are in intensive care units. Across the state, 84 ICU beds and 341 non-ICU beds remain available.

3. Portland sees frigid temperatures on Wednesday

Frigid temperatures are expected Wednesday morning in Portland, starting in the lower 20s with a wind chill. Sunshine is in the forecast across Oregon, but temperatures will make it feel like a snowy winter day.

The record low temperature for Feb. 23 is 24 degrees, which was set in 2018. Temperatures are expected to near that mark throughout the day. The wind chill is expected to wane by afternoon and early evening, but temperatures will remain low.

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