Seattle Driver Shoots Protester as Crowd Swarms His Car

June 8, 2020 Updated: June 8, 2020

A driver in Seattle shot and wounded a man in the arm on June 7 before turning himself in to police, in the midst of a chaotic scene caught on video that shows a crowd of protesters blocking, swarming, and hitting a vehicle.

The Seattle Fire Department said a 27-year-old man was shot in the incident, taken to hospital, and was in stable condition.

Police said they had taken the driver into custody and recovered a gun.

“Officers searched, but do not believe there are any additional victims,” the Seattle Police Department said in a statement.

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Photojournalist Alex Garland helps apply a tourniquet to the arm of a gunshot victim, in Seattle, Wash., on June 7, 2020. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

The unidentified driver, a male, was captured on video bringing his car to a stop on a street in downtown Seattle at 11th Avenue and Pine Street, where protests were taking place following the police custody death of George Floyd.

Video footage shows someone from the crowd putting up a barricade in front of the vehicle, another kicking at it, while someone else wielded a large item like a battering ram.

Photos and video from the scene also show someone reaching in through the driver’s side window, before what sounds like at least one gunshot is heard, and the individual who was by the driver’s window falling to the ground.

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A man reaches into the vehicle of a driver in Seattle, Wash., on June 7, 2020. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

The driver was then filmed exiting the car, brandishing what appears to be a handgun, and disappearing into the crowd. He then turned himself over to the police.

A close-up photo of the driver posted on social media shows a man wearing a black hoodie and baseball cap, holding a handgun with what appear to be taped magazines, known as “jungle style,” for quick reload.

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A man carries a gun after his vehicle was swarmed during a protest in Seattle, Wash., on June 7, 2020. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

Seattle police said in a follow-up statement that protesters had become violent, throwing “heavy projectiles” at officers and that tear gas had been authorized.

Authorities said in a separate statement that “the crowd is throwing bottles, rocks, fireworks, and other projectiles at officers,” and people in the crowd were “shining green lasers into officers’ eyes.”

“Officers are responding with OC [pepper] spray and blast balls,” the police stated, adding that several orders were issued for the crowd to disperse.

The violent incidents were in contrast to the mostly peaceful weekend protests in Seattle.

In contrast with states such as Florida and Utah, Washington state doesn’t have specific stand-your-ground legislation, although previous case law has set a precedence for the practice, according to attorney William K. Kirk. who said that while precedent shows no duty to retreat, the force used must “be reasonable.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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