SEATTLE (AP) – For the second time in less than 48 hours, there was a shooting in Seattle’s “occupied” protest zone, but the 17-year-old victim refused to speak to detectives, leaving the shooting conditions unclear, police said said Monday.
The shooting took place late Sunday evening in the area known as CHOP, for ‘Capitol Hill Occupied Protest’. It happened in Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood when protesters marched from the zone to the West Precinct district of police returned there, officials said.
As with a 2:30 am shooting in the same park on Saturday, in which a 19-year-old man was killed and a 33-year-old man was seriously injured, police and emergency medics on the edge of the protest zone responded before entering, said the police.
And again, volunteer doctors within the zone took the victim to the hospital in a private car instead of waiting for the police and fire brigade.
“To ensure the safety of medical personnel, the police organized Seattle Fire on the outskirts of the CHOP area and gathered information about the location of the shooting victim when they heard he had been transported to Harborview Medical Center in a private vehicle,” police said Monday in a blog post.
The 17-year-old was treated and released and refused to speak to officers, the department said. Investigators asked anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
The CHOP zone is a multi-block area cordoned off by protesters near a police station, an area that was the scene of clashes following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Riot teams in Seattle unleashed tear gas, pepper spray, less deadly projectiles, and blasts on large crowds of predominantly peaceful protesters, seeking conviction from many city leaders and a temporary federal injunction banning the use of the weapons on protesters.
After police left the East Precinct building there, protesters took over the area – with protesters painting a large “Black Lives Matter” mural on the street, distributing free food, playing music, and creating a community garden. Its existence infuriated Republican President Donald Trump, who criticized Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Governor Jay Inslee, both Democrats.
In a statement on Sunday evening about the first shooting, Durkan noted that thousands continue to gather on Capitol Hill. There is peace during the day, but the atmosphere changes at night, she said.
“It is the responsibility of the city to maintain safety in all areas of Seattle under these conditions, including the more dangerous conditions on Capitol Hill at night,” Durkan said. She said the city on Capitol Hill will continue to make changes in partnership with civil society organizations, businesses and residents.
“I believe that together we can create a Capitol Hill environment that allows for peaceful demonstrations,” she said.
The previous recordings are also still being investigated. Police said there was no immediate description of the suspect.
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