Man with gun on I-205 bike path. Cyclist and police are local heroes!

Take a breath before believing this. Zero news coverage and a story on the NextDoor site that makes no sense whatsoever.

I don’t know whether this is bogus or not. But the fact that it is believable is worry enough. I could totally believe some right wing gun nut doing this.

1 Like

I understand your incredulity in today’s world. The lady’s NextDoor profile looks legitimate (72 year old e-biker) and there was a 911 call at time and location she described. Yes, there have been hoaxes but this seems legitimate. Hopefully some news outlets will fact check and report. (See screen shot)! A friend who knows a lot about firearms thought it might be a break barrel pellet gun. [image|511x500]

Really crazy. I’d love to see a source confirming this. Not that I disbelieve it occurred necessary, just want to see something so serious be covered by the news or a police report or something. Maybe more detail on who these people are and if they will be removed from the general public for a while.

Also, just so no one is confused like I was initially, it might be more accurate to drop the “active shooter” part from the title. I think the definition of active shooter is something like “in the process of killing or attempting to kill by shooting”. As far as this account is true, there wasn’t any shooting observed or heard. It just strikes me as inaccurate and confusing to say there was an active shooter if in fact they were not shooting.

But a very lucky coincidence for that person to spot them and alert the cops.


Update: Steve, I updated title as it appears individual was determined not to be an active shooter by law enforcement (PPB)

Yeah, looking forward to a fact check as well but does seem legitimate to me at this point.
I actually looked up definition of “active shooter” before posting. You may disagree but someone aiming a rifle at drivers on an interstate seems to fit the definition. There is nothing in the definition that says shots must be fired to be considered an “active shooter”.

Definition from US Department of Homeland Security:
“An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.”

This happened exactly as i said. I am that cyclist. You can see the recording from my bike cam if you like. It happened to me. It was real. It


It was a bit unnerving. I do not know what kind of rifle it was. I dont know anything other than what i said. Exactly as it happened. You folks that dont want to believe me can just go sit in a corner because it happened.

1 Like

KATU spoke with the police. Reportedly it was a houseless individual who said he was shooting rats that were getting into his camp. Still scary to be shooting right next to the freeway but at least he wasn’t targeting humans.

From KATU:
“It was a guy seen holding a rifle. He was cooperative when challenged and was detained. Officers determined that it was a pellet rifle that he was using to shoot rats getting into his camp. No one was threatened. He allowed officers to take the rifle for safekeeping and was not charged with a crime.”

Thank you,


To: #Portland-KATU-News-Tips
Subject: [EXT] Shooter on I 205 bike path

Here is GrandmaBecky’s most recent post on the issue:
I-205 shooter I closed down the last thread. From what i read the police found it was a pellet rifle. He said he was shooting rats. I will give you pellet gun. I know nothing of guns.
But, and it is a big but, he was not aiming at rats. If he were aiming at rats he would have been aiming at the ground. The rifle was horizontal and was aimed at the freeway. So i call bull on that.
No need to continue this discussion. I just want everyone to know he lied. He was not aiming at rats unless the rats were sitting at the level of a windshield of a car on the freeway.
If he had been aiming down at rats i probably still would have called 911 and told them there was a guy shooting at the ground near the gateway greens where there are a lot of kids and maybe its not a good idea and gone on my merry way. That is not what i saw.

You did the right thing, Grandmabecky. Thanks again for calling in the professionals. Regardless of the details you made our community safer that day.

1 Like

Grandma Becky,
Thank you so much for acting quickly and calling in the professionals! Crisis averted by having an astute bike rider like you and a rapid response by the PPB.

Now if we could just clear all the encampments off the I-205 path so cyclists that aren’t quite as fearless as you can use it again.

Thanks again for your action! You’re the Portland hero of the week!

1 Like

You tell ‘em Grandmabecky!!

Just came here to say it’s a legit story. Becky is a veteran of biking in and around Portland and she was nice enough to confirm it to me via email yesterday. I’ll post a story on BP Monday.


Thanks Jonathan. My “BS meter” (although not infallible) is usually very good. Good to have the confirmation from you though. Looking forward to the story being posted!

Grandma Becky sounds like one 72 year old biking bada%%. I’m significantly less than half her age and too scared to go on the I-205 bike path. Maybe the city should put her in charge of clearing our trails. We could use some tough grandmotherly love in this city!

Just for the record, scary as it is to see, a pellet gun isn’t going to do any real damage at distance and likely wouldn’t even fully penetrate a car windshield or window, let alone be lethal if it were to hit someone if it were lucky enough to go through an open window. You’d be hard-pressed to make a pellet gun lethal for a human even at close range (though it is possible). Probably couldn’t puncture most tires either from that distance. Still, it is a very scary sight to see.

Yeah, glad it was only a pellet gun but yes a scary sight as you state.
It does appear pellet guns (and even BB guns) can break/shatter windows. This could cause a collision if it hit a moving vehicle, shattering the window and possibly causing the driver to lose control.
For someone driving at highway speeds this could potentially be fatal.
Obviously the farther away one is the less velocity and the less damage the pellet would cause. I’m not sure the distance of this shooter from traffic. However, any projectile has the potential to be dangerous. I’m sure you agree it’s a really bad idea to be shooting where you could potentially hit a moving vehicle.

Note that in both those cases, the pellet guns were more likely used at near point-blank range on the stationary car’s windows (unclear exactly how close from either story). The vandal-shooter was definitely closer in the first video to the parked cars than the shooter in this thread would have been from the moving cars, even if he was right up against the freeway barrier fence (because there’s still the freeway shoulder and any landscaping between that and the sound wall if there is any). Plus, AFAIK, the bike path is against the fence there, adding even more space between the pellet gun and the cars. In all likelihood, if they were indeed aiming at cars, the shooter had already shot some and no one even noticed.

I grew up in some shitty-ass far-out suburbs where I would never wish it upon a kid to have to grow up. There, teens were often bored, many had pellet guns, and still other kids occupied themselves by being destructive (baseball bats swung at mailboxes from the passenger window was a frequent vandalism around town, and don’t even get me started on the HS morons with wannabe monster trucks). I grew up doing lots of target shooting with a friend and his multiple pellet rifles. Some of the targets included still-intact beer bottles along the railroad tracks behind his house (shooting discarded trash on the RR tracks from his backyard was as “destructive” as I ever was with his guns). From the distances that would have been similar to this shooter and the freeway traffic, a beer bottle had to be hit head on in the center of the bottle body to break satisfactorily; otherwise it would just chip away bits of glass or glance off it altogether. Beer bottles are very fragile compared to the tempered safety glass used in car windows. Think of how little damage that pebbles and rocks do to windshields at freeway speeds – and there’s much more energy behind stones that are much heavier than a pellet or bb.

Additionally, one could sometimes see evidence of kids abusing pellet guns around town at businesses or at homes when one saw a funnel shaped hole in a window’s pane of glass with a tiny hole in the middle of it (which is about all the pellet or BB would do from a distance – sometimes it might have a small spider web crack).

I’m not trying to minimize the fear and shock that this sight could have produced had anyone seen it from their vehicle (as it did to this rider – who reacted 100% appropriately and prudently), but no one in a car was likely in any real danger here. The worst-case scenario would have absolutely been if a driver or passenger were hit directly through an open window, which would have been a skill shot not easy to make with an air rifle. The velocity of a pellet is just much too low to make skill-shots (and it drops off drastically with distance). That said, my friend and I got pretty good at throwing a dime high up in the air and hitting it before it reached the ground. It involved a lot of leading the dime with the sight and only shooting when it was about to reach the apex, when it momentarily went slowest as it reversed direction and fell. And even then, it was a very difficult skill shot that only sometimes made the connection (and much closer range than this shooter to the freeway).

If a hit had happened on a car’s window or windshield, it likely would have sounded like a loud “THWACK!” like when a pebble hits one’s windshield. It may or may not have left a mark. We all know what that’s like around here with PBOT’s “sand” that they lay down during our infrequent snowpocalypses. I have always jumped or flinched when a pebble or rock has kicked-up and hit my windshield, but I have never gotten distracted from safe driving by it; even the time when a dump truck dropped a large chunk of concrete debris, about 2-3", that bounced, glanced off our hood and hit our windshield making it such that we had to replace it because of the non-repairable blemish and crack, I was not suddenly swerving all over the road. If a pellet hit the body of the car, it would have made a similar loud “ping” and likely left a dimple mark on the body (especially for thinner body-metal cars like Hondas). It wouldn’t have looked much different than a door ding.

As an upside, it sounds like PPD confiscated the air rifle.

1 Like

Link to additional NextDoor post showing video

Also, Jonathan Maus has posted an entry on this on his Bike Portland blog:

Are you trying to say it’s not a big deal to shoot a pellet gun next to a bike path and near a freeway? Can we just agree it’s not a good idea and should not be allowed? You’re right it’s just a pellet gun with limited lethality or serious human injury potential but regardless it’s not a good place to be shooting one.

Not to put words in @squareman 's mouth, but that’s not how I read his comment at all. He’s not saying it’s a permissible activity, just that the likelihood of a fatal outcome that you suggested is basically zero. And he concludes by saying the confiscation of the air rifle is an “upside”, which indicates he doesn’t want this person to be in possession of this weapon.

1 Like

My hero! You saved squeaker!

Points to Matt for reading comprehension skills. Cheers.

1 Like