Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

5 shot, 1 dead in Portland mass shooting; suspect Ben Smith was right-wing extremist furry

by Patch O'Furr

CNN reports “The Saturday night shooting in Portland, Oregon, that left one woman dead and five people injured started with a confrontation between an armed homeowner and armed protesters, according to a Portland Police Bureau news release issued Sunday.”

It can be hard to trust police accounts if the shooter wasn’t actually a homeowner, and it was a one-sided attack on unarmed targets until one defender shot back. Those are the claims of some sources. The New York Times has a victim’s account that they were volunteering to reroute traffic for safety ahead of a protest, but weren’t protesting when they were threatened. One victim was a woman who walked with a cane. Oregon Live identifies a slain volunteer as June Knightly, 60.

The sources include investigators who identify the suspect as Ben Smith, 43, an outcast of the furry community. There’s also furries who know Smith, and local journalists with a history of reporting against political spin and suppression. Some of them compared this to other chaotic incidents with unreliable official news, delays and failures to respond until authorities were forced to by public protest.

At the time of writing, the police haven’t named Ben Smith, but the media has. People grieving the tragedy are waiting for the arrest.

It appears that this story may be another incident of right-wing violence with a risk of biased official response. And, it’s another incident from a far-right fringe of furry fandom that the main community strongly rejects. It’s been compared to the July 2020 shooting of Garrett Foster by Daniel Perry, a far-right furry who was controversially let go with no murder charges for a year.

UPDATE (Feb 22): Benjamin Jeffrey Smith charged with one count of second degree murder, four counts of attempted first degree murder with a firearm, as well as four counts of assault with a firearm.

The history of Portland shooting suspect Ben Smith (furry name Polybun) indicates his violence was predictable and motivated by hate. The facts may come from independent reporters and even furry news. Some may be pulled from investigator files because of record deletion we’re watching as the news comes out.

As soon as the Portland shooting connected to furries, the shooting of Garrett Foster by Daniel Perry instantly came to mind. I’d worked to archive Perry’s far-right furry connections before they were deleted, that went unremarked by mainstream news.

Ash, a furry local to the Perry story comments about the news from Portland:

Man… There’s a lot of PTSD going on for me on this. Garrett Foster’s murder where they found out the killer had a FurAffinity account… Tore shit apart in the local scene.

Perry’s violence joined a list of violent terrorist connections and other shootings from the far-right furry fringe. It’s a chain of incidents by now, and people who watch extremism could see where Ben Smith/Polybun was heading.

Documenting this chain is important to show it’s a chain, and not just chaos or surprise. It’s also important to get ahead of suppression and “both sides” spin that lacks the context of a predictable, hate-motivated attack.

Independent investigators recognize the value of watchdogs inside the community. Their cooperation seems to work better than either kind working alone; insiders share unique knowledge, while outsiders help curate it to reduce rumor and establish truth.

Depending on developments soon, there are exclusive connections on file to the Portland shooting that may be reported here.

For now, here’s some of those investigators and watchdogs that help link up the chain.

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)

2 Responses to “5 shot, 1 dead in Portland mass shooting; suspect Ben Smith was right-wing extremist furry”

  1. Joe Strike says:

    My God, I am getting so sick to my stomach of what is going on in this country. Fascists with hurt fee-fees that they’re not allowed to spread hate on social media or at furcons – ya see, THEY’RE the victims of liberal “cancel culture”!

    Furry or otherwise, I fear to my bones this country is heading towards some sort of violent cultural explosion these fascists are just slavering for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *