Per Kelly Koopmans:
UPDATE: 1 dead, 1 in intensive care at Harborview after a shooting near Seattle’s CHOP zone early this morning.
— Kelly Koopmans (@KellyKOMO4) June 29, 2020
KOMO News reports one person was killed and a second person was critically wounded in a shooting near Seattle’s CHOP area early Monday morning.
Gunfire erupted just after 3 a.m. near 12th Avenue and Pike Street, according to Seattle Police.
One of the victims was driven to Harborview Medical Center in a private vehicle and arrived at 3:15 a.m., while the second victim was eventually brought to a Seattle Fire Department staging area outside the CHOP and taken via ambulance, according to hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg. That victim arrived about 15 minutes later.
One of the victims later died at the hospital, Gregg said. The other remains in critical condition.
Seattle Police haven’t given any further details about what led up to the shooting or any suspected shooter(s).
It’s the fourth shooting in the region protestors named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, which surrounds the area where Seattle Police’s East Precinct was headquartered and began in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.
The protest has stretched nearly a month and has been peaceful during the day but has turned violent at night over the past two weeks. Five people have been wounded so far, and a 19-year-old man was killed.
“I’m aware of 3 shootings and one murder that was a result of a shooting in the zone,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told CNN on Sunday before the fourth shooting occurred. “We’ve also had some assaults, sexual assaults, a robbery, and a couple of arsons. So the level of violence that is starting in that area certainly increased over time and it is no longer a block party. It’s a real public safety issue… it’s been difficult, we’ve been working with our stake holders to make sure we have a good resolution to this. It’s gone on far too long and we are actively working with administrators, the community, and others who support us to get back in the precinct and provide effective public safety for all who live and reside in that area.”
There have been rumors swirling over the weekend that city crews would be coming Sunday to remove the barricades in the area as Seattle Police aims to soon reopen its East Precinct building. The weekend passed with CHOP still in place and some protestors have fortified the entrances, cutting the rebar loops that would allow a boom truck to remove the dozens of cement barricades that line the area.
KOMO News reached out to the Seattle Department of Transportation for clarification on when and if crews would return but has not heard back. A spokesperson with the mayor’s office simply said “there’s no update at this time.”
The protestors say they’re not budging until the city meets their demands to slash 50% of the funding to Seattle Police, increase spending on black and other people of color communities, and grant amnesty to those arrested during the protests.
Mayor Jenny Durkan earlier announced a proposed 5% cut to SPD’s budget.
Neighbors and businesses in and around the area say they support the cause but the violence needs to stop.
“We need the police Taxation without protection is theft, and right now we don’t have any protection in this neighborhood,” said a resident who only wanted to give his first name of Joe. “It not a summer of love — not anymore. We need to get some law and order back in the community.”