September 24, 2020

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A man walks past barricades blocking a street adjacent to a closed Seattle police precinct Thursday, June 18, 2020, in Seattle, in what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone. Police pulled back from several blocks of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood near the police department's East Precinct building earlier in the month after clashes with people protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Shooting at Seattle protest zone leaves one dead

A hospital official says two men arrived with gunshot wounds and one later died. The shooting happened in the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) area, set up in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

A 19-year-old man was killed and another person was critically injured in a pre-dawn shooting in Seattle’s protest zone, authorities said Saturday.

The shooting happened at about 3 a.m. in the area near downtown known as CHOP, which stands for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone, police said in a statement on Twitter.

Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were “met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” said police in a statement provided later on Saturday.

Police Sgt. Lauren Truscott told The Seattle Times newspaper that investigators were reviewing public-source video for clues about how the shooting took place. She said more information would be provided later.

A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center said two men with gunshot wounds had arrived at the hospital in the early hours of the morning. 

The Seattle Times described nearly two hours of footage by Omari Salisbury, a citizen journalist with regional independent news site Converge Media. The footage, posted on Facebook, shows crowds of people inside CHOP, while Salisbury describes how one of the victims is receiving CPR by CHOP volunteer medics.

The footage also appears to show a police extraction unit attempting to enter the so-called autonomous zone to retrieve the victims. The officers were then quickly surrounded by angry and yelling protesters.

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 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis several weeks ago. 

City officials have said they were still in contact with protest leaders, who had pledged to maintain order in the zone. 

(DW)