Aaron Danielson

The father and step-mother of a Portland man who was shot and killed near a protest this weekend have a message for Joe Biden and Donald Trump: stop using our son to push your political points of view.

Aaron Danielson would have been 40-years-old on Friday. Danielson went to school in Spokane - the alumni page for Shadle Park High School on Facebook posted his passing on Monday, with members noting that he graduated from there in 1999.

Instead of a milestone birthday party, Danielson's friends and family are planning a funeral. His death has been ruled a homicide, although there haven't been any arrests. Danielson's father and step-mother say that since his murder, they've been contacted by journalists from across the country.

They wanted to speak with KHQ, and asked us to get their message out that Aaron's death shouldn't be used by politicians. They reached out after hearing Joe Biden discussing their son's death.

“They need to do their research better,” Danielson’s step-mom said. “They need to get their facts right, before they say something that’s inciting and make this patriotic man look bad. All parents who lose a child want something good to happen, to come out of it. For us, the good outcome would be, bottom line, that this violence needs to stop. It needs to stop, before someone else’s family member is killed.”

Danielson was wearing a Patriot Prayer hat, and may have been a member of the group. Patriot Prayer is a right-wing group based in Vancouver. Police say they don't know if Danielson's death was politically motivated. His friends say he was a good person and held a news conference in Portland to dispel rumors about him. "We are here," said his friend Michael, "simply to give everyone in this community, in this state and in the torn country an opportunity to know the good and decent man that was lost on these beautiful cities."

Danielson's business partner, Luke Carrillo, said, "Aaron was not a radical. He was not a racist and he was not a fascist. He was not an inciter or an instigator. He was a freedom-loving American who died expressing his belief- a right which is given guaranteed to all of us through the constitution. He was a great man and he did not deserve the end he met. We ask now that Portland, Oregon and the entire country stand together to renounce any further acts of violence. No family or friends should ever have to deal with this kind of loss for any reason at all."

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, blamed Saturday night's violence on the caravan and Patriot Prayer, saying the group and other self-proclaimed militia members drove into downtown Portland "armed and looking for a fight."