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After mayor’s vow to peacefully clear camp, another shooting in Cal Anderson protest zone sends man to hospital — Plus, possible second victim

A victim in Tuesday morning’s shooting incidents is loaded in an ambulance at 11th and Denny (Thanks to a CHS reader for the image)

Seattle Fire took one person to the hospital and a possible second shooting victim was rushed by private vehicle to Harborview as Tuesday began with another bout of gun violence on the edges of the Capitol Hill protest camp at Cal Anderson.

Seattle Police confirmed they were responding to a shooting at 11th and Denny early Tuesday and confirmed one person had been shot and taken to the hospital. UPDATE: SPD has posted a brief on the incident saying the victim is a man in his 30s who was not cooperative with police and provided no details of what led to the shooting. SPD says it does not know if there was a second victim.

According to Seattle Police radio updates, police were called to the area on the north end of Cal Anderson near residential apartment buildings around 4:45 AM. After staging for about five minutes to gather enough officers to enter the area of the protest camp, police reported finding a man who had been shot screaming on the northwest corner of 11th and Denny.


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A large response from Seattle Fire was also staging in the area and was reported with the victim about 15 minutes after the initial 911 call. The victim was loaded in an ambulance and rushed to Harborview.

During the police and medic response, more gunfire rang out from the area of the Cal Anderson camp around 5 AM. Police did not enter the area of the protesters but were in contact with organizers, according to radio updates. There were reports that an armed person fired a single shot but no immediate reports of victims.

Minutes later, a possible second shooting victim arrived at Harborview via private vehicle, according to SPD radio updates.

There was no further information immediately available on circumstance or suspects.

A CHS reader described the early morning Tuesday scene outside their building:

Man started screaming “get me to the hospital” over and over. Ambulance was called. Time to get here was longer than usual. While waiting the man kept screaming and some people offered to help him and possibly put him in a vehicle. I could hear it all, not see it. He kept screaming and said “Don’t touch my leg” several times. Police and ambulance finally got here and were able to remove him without incident. I did see that part as I went outside my building. I did not see anyone from CHOP approach the police or in the area.

The shooting marks the third bout of gun violence in four nights leaving one dead and three wounded with a possible fourth. Late Monday afternoon, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced she was starting a community-driven process to clear the camp and restore East Precinct to Seattle Police. Monday night following the speech and media conference, a few tents were packed up but more remained in the park and the protest zone.

In an appearance in City Hall flanked by Black community leaders a representative from the GSBA/Capitol Hill Business Alliance, but no representatives from the protest groups, Durkan said the city will no longer allow the Capitol Hill protest camp to continue overnight around Cal Anderson.

Durkan and Chief Carmen Best also said that SPD is preparing plans for reopening the East Precinct as quickly and as safely as possible but provided no specific timeline. Durkan said it would not be safe to reestablish the precinct by sending in police officers and that community partners are being asked for help to reduce the camp and the number of protesters at the site while efforts at larger “systemic change” come in the 2020 budget process to increase social spending in Black and “marginalized communities” and at the state level where the mayor said there will be legislative changes to address how the Seattle police union operates.

“It’s time for people to go home. It’s time for us to restore Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill,” Durkan said.

Early Saturday, one man was killed and another person was critically wounded in a shooting at 10th and Pine. 19-year-old Renton High student Lorenzo Anderson died in an incident that has become a flashpoint of controversy with police restricting their presence in the area following the emptying of the East Precinct headquarters and Seattle Fire’s limited abilities to respond without police presence. Sunday night brought another shooting on the edge of Cal Anderson that sent a 17-year-old to the hospital.

With the protest camp as a center, the Seattle effort born from the May 25th killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis had marked a handful of gains and promises from Durkan and Best of ongoing talks with activists and community groups and a review of police crowd control tactics.

Since its formation in the exit of police from the East Precinct building and the barriers at 12th and Pine on June 8th, the camp was celebrated as a center of protest and also for its art and community even as there were also reports of open-carry enthusiasts joining the crowds and a regular presence of armed sentries posted around the area as part of camp security. The city worked out a new layout plan with protesters to better open the area to traffic and emergency vehicles but there was also a growing unease about Seattle Police’s limited presence in the zone around 11th and Pine and Cal Anderson Park and growing criticism that the camp’s purpose of occupying the area and the “Seattle People’s Precinct” was overtaking greater Black Lives Matter goals. Friday, thousands marched across the Central District to celebrate Juneteenth and rally for the Black Lives Matter movement and local demands to cut Seattle’s police budget and increase spending on social and community investment in the Central District.

Durkan and officials have been firm in saying it will not be clear what is behind the burst of gun violence around the camp until police are able to fully investigate the crimes. Victims including Tuesday morning’s man who was shot have been reported by police to have been uncooperative. The mayor acknowledged Monday afternoon that the city regularly sees gun violence rise this time of year but said what happened on Capitol Hill this weekend “permeated an area that was supposed to be a peaceful collection of people whose voice was being raised against violence against Black people.”

Overnight into Tuesday morning, protesters remained in the area as some set about trying to remove barriers placed by the city to allow vehicle traffic to move through the area around the emptied East Precinct building at 12th and Pine. A brokered meeting between the mayor’s office and camp representatives about clearing the area following the weekend shootings reportedly fell through when the protest group was a no show, a community representative working with Durkan’s administration said Monday.

Earlier, Durkan and Best said that SPD and Seattle Fire’s difficulties in quickly and safely entering the area of the protesters was also a reason to clear the camp.

“We don’t know what the outcome would have been for the young man that died or the person who is still in critical condition at Harborview. But it is our experience over years that the quickness of the response decides who lives and dies sometimes.”

The mayor also said that many area businesses that have been struggling through the long COVID-19 restrictions are unable to more fully reopen for Pride because of the camp. Monday night, 13th Ave leather bar The Cuff announced it would not be able to open as planned as a “community” space for Pride “until we don’t hear gunshots outside our business or read about death and shootings around our neighborhood.”

Tensions also boiled over at 12th Ave’s Momiji Monday where a manager and part owner of the restaurant was captured on video in a street fight with people in the protest zone after calling a Black woman a “nigger” during an argument in front of the business. Co-owners Steven Han and Lawrence Yeh posted a video Monday night apologizing for the man’s actions and announcing he has been fired and removed as a partner. Momiji ownership also promised to reach out to community leaders at the protest camp and provide meals Tuesday night outside the restaurant as well as donate to “Black led and Black-youth organizations.”

Capitol Hill representative on the City Council Kshama Sawant, meanwhile, issued a statement (PDF) Monday defying Durkan and calling for decisions on next steps for the camp to be decided “democratically.”

“Many in the movement are concerned that the resources and attention required to maintain an ongoing overnight occupation at the CHOP could take away from a focus on getting organized to win the demands of the movement,” Sawant writes.


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30 thoughts on “After mayor’s vow to peacefully clear camp, another shooting in Cal Anderson protest zone sends man to hospital — Plus, possible second victim” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

      • This is true. Its time the mayor gives them 3 days while sending in the soft approach to talk with them and get those who need services connected with services. After that the hard core assholes should just be arrested and gotten out of circulation for awhile. Waiting them out is yet another mistake at this point.

  1. I am a 20 year hill resident and have marched many times for BLM. It’s time for the CHOP area to open back up.

    The neighborhood and city have been patient and even participated, but the crime is getting out of control, local businesses in the area can’t open up safely and the BLM message is now completely lost.

    This is a movement and it will continue without CHOP. It had its time, but it’s time to focus on more productive ways to make a change.

    • Thank you SeaDean,

      Notice that this latest gunshot victim happened at 4:45 AM. Just like the weekend shootings. Maybe there’s a connection?

      Good people of all colors and cultures are home in bed, unless they work the night shift. Rats and riff-raff not so much. Just saying

  2. The Cuff has closed down because of all this. I feel bad for all the businesses that had to go through covid 19, and now this. CHOP hasn’t been about BLM for awhile now. Jenny Durkin, get a spine and shut this down now!

  3. Pretty sure daily shootings were not a part of the plan here.

    We need to wrap up this failed experiment before anyone else is hurt or killed.

  4. For those who want to shut CHOP down, how do you propose it be done?

    If the police ask CHOP participants to leave, and they say no, then what? Normally when this happens police deploy tear gas to compel a non-compliant crowd to move away from an exclusion area.

    But tear gas is now banned. So, short of going in and shooting everyone I’m unclear what the NIMBYs propose if CHOP simply says “no thanks, we’d prefer to stay.”

    I’d prefer CHOP relocate to the Amazon Spheres, personally. There are ample open spaces in and around the Spheres that would be ideal for camping and collaborating and there is a political rationale to occupy the area, as well, given Amazon’s intransigence on taxes.

    • The police could actually arrest people, collect them into transport and put them into holding. That would relocate the CHOP!

      Alternatively, is teargas only banned for the city police? How about Staties or the NG?

      Your point is valid about moving to the Spheres, or to any other place which is more of a symbol of “capitalist oppression,” rather than occupying land funded, in the majority, by working-class taxpayers.

      And this makes me wonder why the riots are most often in the poor parts of a town, rather than the rich. If someone is going to destroy property and loot, why does it seem like this happens more often to people who have little already? Why don’t the protesters and the parasites who take advantage of the crowds go to the rich parts of town?

      • “The police could actually arrest people, collect them into transport and put them into holding. That would relocate the CHOP!”

        That’s really only an option if the police outnumber demonstrators four to one. If someone simply goes limp and refuses to move, or actively, resists, it takes 3-4 police – if court-limited to using nothing but their bare hands – to physically move someone into a van and transport them to jail.

        When the mob outnumbers the police, declines to comply, then arrests aren’t an option, only exclusion. Exclusion is accomplished either by (a) shooting into the crowd, (b) tear gassing the crowd, (c) using water cannon against the crowd. There’s a pretty limited playbook. Option “B” is banned by Durkan and the nearest water cannon truck are in Europe (where they’re used by the German Federal Border Police and the Belgian Gendarmerie). So either we’re okay with gunning down anyone who refuses to leave or they stay.

      • “Alternatively, is teargas only banned for the city police? How about Staties or the NG?”

        There aren’t enough State Patrol available to compel exclusion from CHOP for a non-compliant crowd organized enough that they would – if strategic thinkers, which they seem to be – activate flare-ups outside the CHOP. The State Patrol’s Mobile Field Forces are available to react quickly to simultaneous disorder in unexpected areas, not to take over policing for a city or county with no resources to police themselves.

        The National Guard is in a similar situation. In Washington, the Governor’s Quick Reaction Force isn’t large enough to deal with CHOP which means there would have to be a full-scale mobilization of state troops and they would have to enter with firearms given the threat situation in which the CHOP Self-Defense Units are firearms equipped and their commitment to defending CHOP is unclear. But the Governor has been reticent to authorize field deployment with firearms.

        So CHOP residents will either need to offer CHOP organizers a more enticing neighborhood to relocate to (see my suggestion about the Amazon Spheres) or just learn to live with it. It’s pretty much an A/B choice.

      • I think the Amazon Spheres is a great idea. Seems like that could gain potentially gain a lot of leverage for the movement?

        If Amazon does anything remotely construed as racist in response (basically anything other than full support of ASOP), citizens might start to drop Amazon in droves. Money talks.

    • Thank you for this perfectly timed reminder of why CHOP exists in the first place.

      Maybe the police can remember this simple motto: Act like an occupying army, be treated like an occupying army.

      As far as options for crowd control, maybe the police could arrest the few ‘bad apples’ who are causing havoc rather than tear gas everyone in the vicinity.

      Spheres are private property, obviously, though I would very much like to see this occupation move. How about the North precinct? Shake things up.

      • “As far as options for crowd control, maybe the police could arrest the few ‘bad apples’ who are causing havoc rather than tear gas everyone in the vicinity.”

        If you’d like to provide their names and addresses I’m sure the SPD’s criminal intelligence section would appreciate it. Otherwise, this isn’t exactly the NSA we’re talking about. Their resources are fairly rudimentary. I mean they get some of their intel from the comments section of this blog, as we’ve seen. And to build up a probable cause case requires more than reading what someone said about someone on capitolhillseattle.com.

        “Spheres are private property”

        So what? Every time I go through the CHOP I see dozens of posters and flyers calling for people to take back the money Bezos has “looted” and objecting to Ring Doorbell’s collaboration with police. I guess you can either print ominous flyers at Kinkos or actually just walk ten blocks down the hill and do what you’re talking about. For now, it seems CHOP are just photocopy warriors.

  5. Despicable about the Momiji employee using the N word, however, interesting sign of the times that Momiji not only had to fire him but had to immediately start throwing loaves of bread into the mob (the $10K and “free meals”) to avoid having their restaurant ransacked and looted.

    And avoiding being burned to the ground – not committed belief – is clearly the motivation here. Otherwise the tribute would have been offered weeks ago.

  6. Bayonets, shotguns, hand cuffs, and sentencing these vermin to hard labor would clear it out. If SPD can’t handle it bring in the military, this is insurrection against the United States. Seattle is a failed city on so many levels.

    • “this is insurrection against the United States”

      It’s not even close to being that. But I know that Trumpism has made some people believe we live in a fascist dicatorship, so I can see how you may be confused.

    • Whoa, hold on there. This is not a pile on for more senseless violence. Your suggestions are way out of line. Wow.

      I believe the city is in discussions with local “leaders.” Let’s go the sensible route first and see what happens. Maybe some moderate use of force if met with the same.

      Let’s not make a bigger mess out of this through more senseless violence.

      People who aren’t directly affected by this or who haven’t been to CHOP in person should refrain from giving out their unreasonable and extreme ideas of dealing with this. You can’t judge this situation by only watching sensationalized media.

  7. @Relocate:

    Or, bayonets, as you noted.

    Fire trucks can’t shoot water? I don’t really know. Or they could use the Forest Service helicopters that can drop hundreds of gallons at one time and just wash the CHOP folks down the street. Knocking them off their feet and disorienting them like that may make them easier to collect.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • >Fire trucks can’t shoot water?

      That is an option, however, the level of injury of using fire hoses against people at a volume intense enough to force them out of an area is 40-50 times greater than tear gas. And U.S. fire departments generally don’t allow use of fire trucks in this way anyway out of concern the fire department could become targets in the future.

      Specialized, police-manned water cannon truck use pulsing water sprays that minimize the risk of injury. If the city wanted to put out a tender and requisition for water cannon truck they could probably take delivery of new vehicles in the next 2-3 months and then use them to evacuate the CHOP in September / October.

    • Here’s a good video of the Hanseatic Police in Germany using their specialized water cannon trucks against a crowd. The cannon use a spray that pulses in intensity and pivots back and forth to minimize injury. The idea is to douse the crowd not focus fire on any individual. The vehicles emit a ten-second warning tone prior to the water starting to fire to give people a final chance to withdraw.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkfQlvgpR6o

      The water is not intense enough to force highly committed persons to withdraw, however. Anyone can resist the water pressure of these trucks. The concept is that 80% will voluntarily leave after being hit with the water jets which will thin the crowd enough that the German police can move forward and administer baton strikes against remaining persons.

  8. Am I the only one to object to how a barbaric murder in Minneapolis is being used as a further extortion in Seattle? here we are having budget cuts left and right where the mayor has promised to increase spending to the black community who is already getting significantly more than anybody else. Why? This is extortion and people should be objecting.