2 shot, 1 dead in violence inside Seattle protest zone, Police say “violent crowd” denied them entry

Per CNN, Seattle police say a “violent crowd” prevented them reaching two shooting victims — one whom later died — inside the city’s autonomous protest zone Saturday.

Officers responded around 2:30 a.m. local time Saturday to a report of shots fired at Cal Anderson Park inside the area referred to as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), according to a police statement.

“Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” the statement reads. Police said they were later informed that CHOP medics had taken the two victims to hospital.

NBC News reports a man died and another person was injured in a shooting early Saturday inside Seattle’s autonomous demonstration zone known as Capital Hill Organized Protest, police said.

The violence was reported about 2:30 a.m. near Cal Anderson Park, the Seattle Police Department said in a statement.

One victim, described as a 19-year-old man, was declared dead at a hospital, and the other, described only as a male, was being treated for life-threatening injuries, the department said.

“Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” Seattle police said. “Officers were later informed that the victims, both males, had been transported to Harborview Medical Center by CHOP medics.”

At a noon coronavirus news conference, Gov. Jay Inslee said he wasn’t aware of the details of the attack.

“One way or another we have to be able to provide protection for people all over the state of Washington, including that particular area,” he said.

The zone was set up as an extension of demonstrations seeking racial justice after the death of George Floyd. A police station about a half-mile from the attack is inside the area and has been abandoned.

Police on Tuesday installed concrete barriers to protect those within the zone. On June 7, a man allegedly drove into the area and opened fire on another man, injuring him. A suspect, Nikolas Fernandez, 31, was charged with felony assault.

No one has been arrested in Saturday’s attack.

“Homicide detectives responded and are conducting a thorough investigation, despite the challenges presented by the circumstances,” the Seattle Police Department said.