Normandale Park shooter sentenced to life in prison

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 5:40 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A Multnomah County judge sentenced a man to life in prison today after a mass shooting at a northeast Portland park more than a year ago.

Benjamin Smith shot and killed one woman at Normandale Park and injured four other people. For many, it was an emotional day in court as survivors and witnesses packed the courtroom and shared their heartbreak and anger about the Normandale Park shooting last February.

“I am a survivor of Benjamin Smith’s attack at Normandale Park on February 19, 2022,” Alley Bradley said.

It’s a night survivors and witnesses will never forget.

“How do you ever forget the images of bullets hitting your friends’ bodies?” said witness Hank.

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“I have relived that night countless times,” Bradley said. “I see it and smell it and feel it every single day. The weight of your bullets has not left my body.”

On February 19, 2022, a group of people gathered at Normandale Park in northeast Portland to stand against the killings of Amir Locke and Dante Wright at the hands of police.

But witnesses that night say the march never started because 43-year-old Smith began shooting, killing June Knightly and seriously hurting four other people, including one woman who goes by Deg.

She was shot in the neck that night and is now paralyzed, requiring her parents to provide around-the-clock care.

“I can’t move my body and that alone has impacted me emotionally and has been overwhelming to process,” Deg said. “I’m also grieving my friend who was killed while trying to protect me. She was a person I loved, admired, her life was stolen, and I feel I am alive because of the sacrifice she made in that moment. Despite my disability, I’m happy to be alive.”

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Smith sat while he listened to the survivors of his shooting and when it came time for him to speak, he relied on his attorney while survivors stormed out because he stayed silent.

“Just unfathomable that he has no remorse for what he did to these folks so… nothing? You got nothing? How about ‘I’m sorry?’”

Smith was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 55 years.