Portlander Mike Hilbrandt faces multiples surgeries and is recovering at a local hospital after being shot in the arm Tuesday night.
According to a source who’s related to Hilbrandt, the incident started on East Burnside. Hilbrandt was bicycling along Burnside near 12th Avenue when he noticed an SUV in the bike lane. As Hilbrandt passed it, he tapped on the window to alert the driver to his presence. He was then chased and verbally threatened before being shot at Ankeny and 13th.
“Guy in a SUV rolled up on me at Ankeny and 13th, said “i’m gonna fucking shoot you…” and then he did,” was how Hilbrandt described what happened in an Instagram post from his hospital bed late last night. The driver of the SUV then sped off and is still on the loose.
His injuries are not life-threatening, but the bullet shattered both bones in his arm and he faces several surgeries. “Orthopedist is optimistic they can save the arm,” Hilbrandt says.
“We are so relieved that Mike is recuperating and while we are shaken, we are very grateful that he’s alive,” says someone who knows Hilbrandt and reached out to us about the incident.
Hilbrandt is well-known in our community. He’s married to the daughter of former Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, used to be that shop’s assistant manager (and recovered at least two stolen bikes!), has served as a medic at local bike races, has worked as a guide for the Mountain Bike Oregon event, and volunteers with Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue.
Portland Police responded to the shooting just after 11:00 pm last night. They’ve released no additional details and urge anyone with information to call the non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.
The section of Burnside where the incident began has an unprotected, door-zone bike lane that is often blocked by auto users. The bike lane is relatively narrow and it’s adjacent to three standard lanes. In 2016, another bicycle rider on this section of Burnside was frustrated and scared and struck a window with his fist, only to be pulled over by a police officer who was nearby.
Friends have launched a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses. You can also mail donations to:
Mike Hilbrandt Recovery Fund
c/o Jay Graves
P.O. Box 790
Banks, OR 97106
UPDATE, 5/7: We’ve heard directly from Mike Hilbrandt (via a comment below). Here’s his version of the what happened (keep in mind he’s in lots of pain and typing from a hospital bed):
The vehicle description is a door grey SUV.
I believe he had just dropped off a friend or a fare, (young woman in a dress). I tapped on his window as I was passing him to let him know I was there. It was 10:15 at night, and while I have bright bike lights, many drivers do not see bike lights. I did not want to be pulled into. If I had a loud horn on my bike, I could have used that – but I don’t.
I never said a word to this guy. I could hear him chase after me, so I got off my bike to get up on the sidewalk. I thought he was going to run me down. Instead he started to yell, and when I turned around to face him, maybe 10 feet away, he shot me. The whole incident lasted probably less than 45 seconds – from tapping his window to getting shot. I gave my description to the officer, what little I had, but it was dark, so fast, and completely a non-issue. This was not a cyclist pounding on a car because it was in a bike lane – I would have definitely been paying more attention to description in I was about to escalate a situation.
My only hope is that the young lady that appeared to be walking from his car knows this guy and comes forward.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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