February 22, 2022
Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director
DA Mike Schmidt announces charges and arrest warrant for weekend shooting
PORTLAND, Oregon – Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced nine charges filed against Benjamin Smith, 43, including one count of Murder in the Second Degree with a firearm, four counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree with a firearm, two counts of Assault in the first degree with a firearm and two counts of Assault in the Second Degree with a firearm. DA Schmidt also sought and received a warrant for Smith’s arrest.
On Saturday, February 19, 2022, Portland police officers responded to reports of gunshots at the intersection of NE 55th Ave and NE Hassalo St. Upon arrival they learned that multiple people were suffering from gunshot wounds and receiving emergency medical aid. After procuring medical transport for those injured, police established a perimeter and began an investigation.
Subsequent investigation including video evidence revealed that Smith had confronted a group of people engaged in an organized demonstration at Normandale Park. Smith approached several participants, yelling at them to leave the park. Several participants asked Smith to leave them alone. Moments later, Smith drew a firearm and fired at the crowd, striking five people. The shooting ended after Smith was shot in the hip area.
One victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Four others were subsequently hospitalized with varying degrees of injury. Smith was also hospitalized and is currently in serious condition but expected to survive. Portland Police Bureau officers have remained with Smith at the hospital continuously since he was admitted. A warrant for his arrest was signed today by a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office thanks the Portland Police Bureau for their work on this case. Law enforcement is aware that critical evidence was removed from the scene by witnesses. We ask that this evidence be returned to investigators immediately. We also ask that anyone with information or evidence related to this incident please contact our Case Tip Hotline at 503-988-0340 or Portland Police Bureau detectives, Scott Broughton, at Scott.Broughton@nullportlandoregon.gov (503) 823-3774 or Detective Rico Beniga Rico.Beniga@nullportlandoregon.gov or (503)-823-0457.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Smith is innocent unless and until proven guilty.