Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson addresses death of Aaron Danielson


Gibson was a guest on The Lars Larson Show on the Northwest Radio Network

Camas resident Joey Gibson, the leader of the Patriot Prayer organization, spoke publicly for the first time Monday afternoon about the shooting death of his friend Aaron Danielson Saturday evening in downtown Portland. 

Gibson was a guest on the Lars Larson show on the Northwest Radio Network. He described Danielson, who also went by the name Jay Bishop, as one of the nicest guys he has ever met.

Joey Gibson, leader of the Patriot Prayer organization
Joey Gibson, leader of the Patriot Prayer organization

“It was definitely an execution,’’ Gibson told Larson. “Jay is definitely a different type of guy. Probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. I’ve been telling people this, anyone that knows him, would agree with the statement that I’m going to make. I don’t care what you believe in politically, you can be far left to conservative whatever, if you knew him and his heart, you would never hurt him, let alone try to murder him.’’

Danielson was a supporter of the Patriot Prayer organization. Earlier in the day Saturday, Gibson said he and Danielson both participated in a caravan of an estimated 1,000 vehicles full of supporters of President Donald Trump and law enforcement that gathered in Clackamas before traveling to the downtown Portland area. Gibson said Danielson had later returned to downtown Portland, where he has a residence, and was no longer demonstrating when he was targeted by a suspect who has been identified in videos of the incident. 

Aaron Danielson
Aaron Danielson

Gibson said Danielson was targeted because he is a Christian conservative Patriot. Gibson encouraged those saddened by Danielson’s death not to do anything stupid. He said, “we’re not here for revenge and to go attack random people.’’

Portland Police responded to shots in the area of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Alder Street at about 8:46 p.m. where they located Danielson, who had been shot. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an investigation into the killing of Danielson. The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has conducted an autopsy and determined the manner of death to be homicide and the cause of death was gunshot wound to the chest.

Gibson recounted what has been revealed about the incident in videos circulating on social media.

“So, here’s what we put together,’’ Gibson said. “Obviously, you had that Trump cruise that was going on in downtown Portland and we were down there in the back of a truck with Jay and with Chandler, a couple of the guys. We had went down there, successfully got in, you know, had a good time, got out. We safely got back to the Clackamas Mall and Jay and Chandler decided to hop in their truck and they go downtown.

“The thing that people don’t know is Jay lives in downtown,’’ Gibson said. “That’s his city. He owns a small business. That’s his hometown. And so they were walking and they didn’t expect anything. And that’s when the guy called them out. I can’t hear clearly what he said exactly, but he definitely said ‘there’s two of them right here.’ Some of them say ‘Trumpers,’ but they pointed him out. And another guy walks across, a guy who has already been identified. We have pictures of him with the Black Lives Matters tattoo. And he shoots one bullet. It hits Chandler’s bear mace that explodes. The second bullet goes into Jay’s chest and he takes a couple steps and he’s down.’’

Gibson said he, as well as police, know the suspect from previous encounters. The suspect was also present at Friday’s dual rally in Camas attended separately by supporters of the police and Black Lives Matter.

“This guy dresses differently than the average Antifa,’’ Gibson said. “And he’s not very big on covering his face either, which is a good thing, but he wears this white T-shirt. He has some sort of tactical vest. We see him in a lot of rallies. In fact, he even came all the way out to Camas Washington the night before for a Blue Lives Matter rally. And he was out there and some guys got mad at him because he kept having his finger on his (gun) trigger. And so then the next day, he’s out at the Trump cruise and he’s sitting there with a gun in his hand out with his left hand covering it. So, he’s looking for the right moment to be able to kill someone. And that was his moment.’’

Gibson also commented about a video showing Black Lives Matter supporters celebrating the killing of Danielson.

“And now they have the nerve, they shoot Jay in cold blood, and then about a few hours later, they’re on the streets on that bullhorn,’’ Gibson said. “There’s a video of a black girl cheering on the fact that he’s dead, calling him a fascist, dehumanizing him, and the entire crowd just cheers it on like this is some sort of game. That was a very hard thing for all of us to see, to see people cheer that on.’’

Portland Police detectives continue to investigate Danielson’s death and they ask anyone with information to contact Detective Rico Beniga at (503) 823-0457 or  Rico.Beniga@portlandoregon.gov; or Sergeant Joe Santos at (503) 823-0406, or Joseph.Santos@portlandoregon.gov.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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