SEATTLE (AP) — A pre-dawn shooting in a park in Seattle’s protest zone killed a 19-year-old man and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday.
The shooting happened at about 2:30 a.m. in the area near downtown known as CHOP, which stands for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” police said.
Officers who responded to the shooting initially had trouble getting to the victims because they were “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” police said on their blog.
Two males with gunshot wounds arrived in a private vehicle at Harborview Medical Center at about 3 a.m., said hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg. The 19-year-old man died and the other person was in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The suspect or suspects fled and police had no description of the shooter or shooters Saturday morning, police said.
“Homicide detectives responded and are conducting a thorough investigation, despite the challenges presented by the circumstances,” police said. Investigators were reviewing public-source video and body-camera video for clues, Seattle Police Sgt. Lauren Truscott told The Seattle Times.
Protesters have cordoned off several blocks near a police station in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in the wake of demonstrations against police violence since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis several weeks ago.
Police have largely retreated from the zone after clashes with protesters ended with people throwing things at police and police tear gassing people and using other crowd control munitions. City officials have said they are still communicating with protest leaders, who had pledged to keep the peace in the zone.
The situation has drawn the continued ire of President Donald Trump. His tweets about possibly sending in the military have been met with condemnation from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee, both Democrats.
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