An Oregon mechanic with a vicious history of right-wing anger and harassment has been identified as the man believed to have opened fire near a protest weekend in Portland, OregonOne woman was killed and several others were injured.
Portland police have officially named Benjamin Jeffrey Smith as a suspect in the mass shooting that left June Knightly, 60, a volunteer with a traffic team participating in the protest, and at least two others seriously injured. In one New information posted On Tuesday, police said Smith remains hospitalized in a serious condition and detectives are working with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to identify potential charges.
Smith’s roommate, Kristine Christenson told Oregonians which Smith appeared on Reddit with the username “Polybun”. That account made anti-Semitic comments and praised Kyle Rittenhouse, the white teenager who shot dead two men and wounded another during a racial justice rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020.
Rittenhouse, of course, got out without jail time after a jury acquitted him of murder in November.
Christenson told the newspaper: “He became more and more radical as the years went by. “He switched from ‘FU police’ to ‘Blue Lives Matter’ last year.”
A review by The Daily Beast of a series of social media posts found that accounts of that name on Reddit, YouTube and various online forums are linked by an interest in vintage cars, culture. fur, group MC Virgins and Burning Man annual festival. The Redditor using that account engaged in r/Portland discussions and mentioned a childhood in rural Indiana, in keeping with Smith’s own life trajectory, according to public records. (Feather culture has traditionally been neither violent nor extreme, but has been somewhat rightmost interlocutor; Polybun maintains a strong online personality, in constant conflict with others.)
Records also show that Smith faced charges of assault and harassment in August 2010. While the assault charge was later dismissed, he was placed on two-year probation, with no further access. contact with the alleged victim and must file for anger counseling, court documents show.
Christenson, who had been living with Smith for seven years before the incident, told The Oregonian Smith “made me uncomfortable” and he kept at least four guns in his room.
She said Smith often beat the Black Lives Matter movement and complained about COVID-19 mask requests and crime in the vicinity, the paper added.
“He was very upset,” Christenson said.
In a log from a forum titled “Free Fur All 2022 Unofficial Chat” Polybun also appears to compliment the Proud Boys on the far right.
“If proud boys shoot at someone [sic] they probably deserve it,” he wrote. “So far, sadly they haven’t fired on any vehicle, because good Christ it needs to happen.”
Minutes later, he wrote that while he believed all socialists were bad, “if you make me choose this socialism or the other, I am dominating the Antifa.”
He also appeared to defend Kyle Rittenhouse, writing: “Finally threw Kyle under the bus [sic] talking is not just a dodgy but flat out wrong movement. And it’s clear why… The Jewish-owned company wouldn’t support the kid who defended himself from the Jews. “
Hate rhetoric emerged years ago, when, in a Reddit comment in November 2017, the poster said that hate was a kind of motivator.
“Hatred is all that keeps me going most days,” he wrote, adding that he was driven by “the desire to get out of bed and tell the world that” your day damned “.
“I reject the notion that love is the only answer,” he continued.
Smith’s brother, Arthur Killion, told Oregonians that the 43-year-old has grown increasingly angry about the protests in Portland, where rallies for racial justice and other activism have shaped local life in recent years. Christenson and neighbors echoed those sentiments, who told the magazine that Smith was both outraged by the protests and annoyed by the homeless, who he alleged were digging up the streets. trash cans at his apartment complex and take shelter in local parks.
Those neighbors also said Smith had recently repaired and collected firearms that he would occasionally show off, the newspaper reported.
One neighbor, Polly Kuprienko, told the outlet she saw her neighbor come out of his apartment, holding a gun and threatening a homeless man who was fishing around in crates. building garbage.
Before Smith was formally identified in the investigation, police described the deadly incident as a dispute between an armed neighbor and a group of protesters. Protesters over the weekend demanded accountability for the killings of two Black men by police: Patrick Kimmons in Portland in 2018 and Amir Locke in Minneapolis earlier this month.
Smith’s brother told Oregonians that he had “many problems” and was hostile to activists in Portland, and that his brother told him he was saving money to move out of town back to Indiana or Tennessee later. two decades in Oregon.
“He said they had personally threatened him and others in the past. He said he was ready to defend himself,” Killion told the magazine.
“He has no love for them,” added Killion, before defending his siblings. “But he is not a right-wing maniac. He is a master mechanic. ”
As for Knightly, former friends told The Daily Beast that before her death, she worked hard to find common ground in activism, participating in the LGBTQ community and wholeheartedly fighting for racial justice.
Meanwhile, according to Christenson, Smith “seemed fine” when he first let her move into his apartment seven years ago and let her stay there for free.
“As the years went by, he became more and more radical. He’s getting angrier and angrier, ‘Christenson’ tell OPB. “I didn’t feel comfortable living with him for a while. I don’t feel safe around him, especially the past two years with the whole COVID thing. I think that made him even angrier.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/benjamin-jeffrey-smith-fringe-furry-and-machinist-identified-as-suspect-in-portland-mass-shooting?source=articles&via=rss Benjamin Jeffrey Smith, Tailor and Tailor Fringe, Identified as a Suspect in the Portland Mass Shooting