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‘His brother works here at this precinct’ — Police say Capitol Hill protest shooting suspect was ‘fearing for his life’

Fernandez in an image from this CHS video from the scene of Sunday night’s shooting

Nikolas Fernandez, the man arrested for shooting an unarmed protester after driving his car into the crowd at the 11th and Pine core of the demonstration Sunday night told police his brother works at the East Precinct, according to a police report on the incident.

The 31-year-old Seattle resident has not been charged but is being held on investigation of assault after a King County Superior Court judge Monday set his bail at $150,000 — half of what prosecutors asked — based on his ties to the community and inability to pay, according to the King County Prosecutor’s office.

Sunday night in a shocking scene captured on video, Fernandez can be seen leaping from the car with a handgun in the shooting that seriously injured a protester who witnesses said was trying to disarm the gunman. Fernandez then passed through the police barrier and yelled at officers, “I just had to shoot somebody, they tried to jack my car,” police say.

Police say Fernandez told them he was “driving around the area of the protest/demonstration” before the shooting and “thought he could get through” when he encountered the crowd:

Police also documented victim Dan Gregory’s account as he recovered at Harborview following the shooting:

A donation fund has raised more than $169,000 to help pay his expenses following surgery.

According to court records, Fernandez pleaded guilty in 2011 to a fourth degree assault charge stemming from a fight with a former schoolmate.

Fernandez told police his vehicle stalled Sunday night and wouldn’t start after the shooting so he “exited the car with his gun in his hand yelling at people to get back away from him,” police write. Fernandez told police he ran through the line and immediately surrendered.

“Fernandez said his brother works here at this precinct, and he does not want to do anything to shame him.”

UPDATE 8:32 PM: A security video provided to CHS shows the vehicle in the incident speeding onto 11th Ave from E Pike as several people shout at the driver to stop:


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92 thoughts on “‘His brother works here at this precinct’ — Police say Capitol Hill protest shooting suspect was ‘fearing for his life’” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

      • On his way to work as security where he needs, not 2 but, 3 loaded clips immediately available? And happens to have his loaded gun sitting un-holstered on his passenger seat? And his brother works at this precinct where there have been protests for over a week, but he’s not familiar enough with the situation and thinks he could drive through? No. What he knew is he could concoct a story and trust that his brother being a policeman would at the very least give him benefit of the doubt with investigators, and that he only has to find one racist to sit on a jury to accept his story as reasonable doubt.

      • Let the detective do their work, Melissa.
        Stop explaining what the detectives can find.

        Again, you excuse it because you seem to have figured it all out, already.

        He’s security… yea, that’s it.
        Doesn’t explain why driving into a protest was a smart idea.

      • Melissa

        I don’t know of one security agency that requires their employees to carry two extended mags jungle taped to each other like that.

        Let alone just having said weapon sitting freely & loaded, in the passenger seat and not secured.

        You need a license to carry a weapon in a car loaded like that btw. Not counting the license you need for being armed security.

        Wa is an open carry state. But our laws state that unless you have a CPL. Your weapon cannot have a mag in the weapon and both must be stored in the car separately.

        You don’t carry a weapon like that as it’s very unwieldy unless you intend to use it then & there.

        RCW 9.41.050

        “(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee’s person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.”

        The fact that he had two extended mags jungle taped, loaded, and just sitting on his seat. As well as his sorry excuse of thinking he can get through a protest that has been going on at that location for a week straight.

        Tells you everything you need to know. He had intent to harm others. But lost his nerve once he screwed up and tucked his tail to go have big bro save him.

      • As a union ironworker? He’s working security? Really? As a union pipefitter I think this sounds like BS. Seattle construction was booming. I talked to a friend up there not long ago. Two, WA unemployment is quite good, among best in the nation.

      • Extra clips TAPED TOGETHER in the gun is not the sign of a guard on his way to work….that is someone looking to shoot up something or someone fast. Armed security carry a sidearm with 1 clip!!!!

      • No need. I was there. He came barrelling down the road – with a 9mm glock with an extended magazine sitting on his lap. If it weren’t for Dan Gregory’s actions many of us would have been plowed down, and presumably shot when he exited his car.
        He is local so he is very familiar with the fact that there was a massive protest going on there for the previous ten days. You would have to be living at the bottom of the ocean not to know those streets were closed off, but he ‘forgot’ and chose to barrell through the barricades and then, yes SHOOT Dan Gregory. Why on earth would you even TRY to defend him??? It makes no sence!!

    • Exactly! His defense is pure bullshit. He drove into a crowd of people and the shot someone. Dude should be charged with attempted murder and assault in the 1st degree.

      • He was doing a fine job, actually – until Dan Gregory thwarted his evil plan. Dan Gregory is a true life hero. You should be donating to his fund in stead of tearing him down. Don’t reject the evidence that is front of you. He sped up, in to the crowd, SHOT someone and then ran crying to the police like a little baby. God bless Dan Gregory.

    • 1. it’s called a magazine, not a “clip”.

      2. I’d very much like to see more video and would be shocked if there weren’t some available to show his driving before he turned onto the block of the incident. Was it erratic? At which point did protestors initially make contact with the vehicle? Would it be reasonable for him (driver) to have feared for his safety at that point? Etc

      3. it’s not illegal to carry extra magazines. Who appointed anyone here arbiter of how many a security guard gets to carry?

      • 1. who gaf CLIP CLIP CLIP.
        2. He was accelerating toward a group of people. Who gaf if he drove funny first? “Oh we don’t have all the facts” is such a bs copout – sad that it’s become the standard go-to for certain groups when they face something that absolutely cannot be forced into a shape that fits their world view – and it gets tiresome. Find a new trick.
        3. Nope, but it sure as hell speaks to intent. Security my ass – there’s no way any competent security agency approves of taped together CLIPS (get over it)

      • We saw video of him driving into the demonstration and people jumping to get out of his way. What video is it that you need to see?

      • The full clip is on World Star Hip Hop. They were all attacking him in his car and he is going to get off on self defense easily. Nothing wrong with having extra magazines. Glad he defended himself, he could have got killed!

      • I am very, very tired of people actually-ing “it’s a magazine, not a clip”. Leading with that just shows that you have no idea what everyone else is actually talking about.

    • The victim saying he punched the driver in the face is going to be problematic at trial. Id like to know why he was driving with all those tickets on his car. Weird.

      • There were multiple people punching this poor man, and destroying his vehicle. He had no choice but to display his weapon. He pulled in about 10 MPH and people were blocking the roads and attacked him wildy.

      • In the case we DO have the video of what happened right before that:

        He drove into a crowd. That’s a felony per person. Punching him in the face was self defense.

        And it’s very,very hard to claim innocence when you have two thirty round mags duct taped together. That goes to intent.

      • To be clear, the video on the world starhiphop site linked by “David” does not show a man in fear of his life it shows a gunman fleeing the scene of his crime.

        Other videos clearly show him driving at speed down a crowded street and shooting someone.

    • The videos I have watched pretty much back up his self defense claim. They also do not show any excessive speed on that road either. As for the gun and magazines, have you not been watching the news lately, it’s a war-zone out there so if you carry, (which is your god given right), you better have enough ammo to suppress a large crown if they wish to do you harm. I have been carrying since 1985 and I always have at least 2 extra mags with me at all times.

    • An armed man shot an unarmed man after driving into a crowd that was protesting peacefully. If I were the shooter that would be an attempted murder charge. Argue that if you will, but most Black Americans who see this, that’s what they will be thinking. Even during a time of protest it seems to be OK to shoot black people and folks will create a narrative saying it’s alright. Doesn’t matter what “group” you belong to, it’s OK to inflict violence against Black people because as evidenced time and time again…BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER TO IN THIS SOCIETY!

    • Charge the man who was assaulted with assault?

      Do we now charge rape victims for their rape?

      Or how about murder victims for their murder?

      How about charging the dog catcher with dognaping?

      • Gregory admitted that he ran up to the car, tried to take control of the vehicle from the window and then hit him before he pulled out a gun. The car was not being used as a weapon so even if Gregory thought he was doing a good deed he wasn’t.

  1. and WHY did the cops treat him with such RESPECT/KID GLOVES (they did everything but offer him a damn cocktail) when he “surrendered” to them?

    NO attempt to DISARM him, NO FRISKING for any weapons, NO RESTRAINT of his arms/wrists, NOTHING.

    Cop plant. Fodder for news outlets to show why the “cops are needed” or some such b.s.

    • Valid.
      I think it is clear to reasonably presumable that Frenandez entered the area hoping for confrontation.

      Want the next level? How the hell did Gregory survive a point-blank shot to the chest?

      • Glass in your face hurts, even more than getting punched. You could even lose an eye, or both. Something to think about as you hand out Arm Chair justice Bob…!!!

  2. Just to reiterate… He accelerated towards the protest, was halted by a wooden barricade in front of a protestor. Then he exited the car with a gun and shot someone. It was not an accident.

    • It is very inaccurate. He slowed down as he approached the people..did you not see that in the video? He shot the guy while still in the car….did you not see that?? Does not sound like you watched any of the videos at all….

    • You have no clue. That barricade was nothing and he could have gone around, backed up or pushed through it. He had ample opportunity to hit people but he avoided it. They were also chasing, throwing things and were about to mob the vehicle. Chances are he was going to be pulled from the car and beaten and the “hero” had already hit him in the face before he was shot in self defense. They also exaggerated the speed of his car. Any acceleration was to try to avoid the mob and he quickly decelerated on his own due to people in front of him. He was avoiding them not aiming for them.

    • Stop lying.

      He braked and slowed and maneuvered around the people jaywalking in the street. He hit no one. He made clear efforts to avoid hitting people.

      Gregory has given his statement to the police, quoted above, that he grabbed the steering wheel and punched Frenandez (who was sitting in the driver’s seat.)
      Then Gregory is shot. Then Frenandez leaves the area and turns himself into police.

      In his statement Gregory *lies* and says the vehicle was moving with unsafe speed. How is a *stopped vehicle* moving at an unsafe speed?

  3. “fearing for his life” …that’s a good one. This violent piece of shit needs several years in a tiny cage to reconsider what it means to live in civilized society.

  4. People don’t carry around 32 round magazines for self defense okay to let alone a 32 round magazine taped to a 15-round magazine. This man planned on killing people and his pistol jammed.

  5. 911… What’s your emergency? Your call is very important to us. Please hold. Your call is very important to us. Please hold. Due to high call volumes we suggest you file your emergency online… For your convenience, you can now track your emergency call progress from your phone. Have a Safe Day! Good bye!

    • Don’t speed around a corner and through a crosswalk with pedestrians in it. And don’t carry an un-holstered loaded gun in your car. I used to work for a gun company. We called guys like this cops brother stupid morons. They were always the dipsh#ts who tried to sue us when they wound up shooting themselves. And they always lost.

  6. Claims he doesn’t know his way around Seattle, but he went to Ballard highschool and has been living in Seattle for over 10 years…Yeah right

    • Have you ever driven in Seattle before? Come on. I regularly see people driving the wrong way down a one way street. It’s a very difficult driving environment on a good day.

      Also, the street wasn’t blocked off. From the video, there is no signage. No official barricade. Just 2 trash cans in the median, not blocking either lane.

      It’s certainly possible that he went there to shoot people, but the intersection video raises some doubts…

  7. “Poor man”, my ass. The minute you realize you are turning onto a street full of people, you brake and try to turn around. He didn’t do that. So there was no reason people on the street would think he wasn’t intentionally trying to drive toward the crowd. So they did the right thing to try to stop him.

  8. I think people are a little overly emotionally invested in this. If you look at the videos, it’s actually pretty ambiguous.

    It’s strange that he had a gun on his seat, but it does kind of look like he might have taken a wrong turn, and the crowd panicked. It doesn’t look like the street was actually blocked off in any meaningful way.

    It’s certainly possible he went there with bad intentions, but I think some further investigation is needed…

    • These are the facts that must be accepted for this to be an “accident.”

      1) Accidentally drove down the wrong road
      2) Made the decision to continue driving into a large group of protesters rather than turning around.
      3) Just happened to have an extended magazine taped to another magazine for quick reloading
      4) And by coincidence the above three things all happened to involve a man (the shooter/driver) that is a brother of an SPD officer.

      Yeah, calling BS on the “accident line.”

    • Brendan, I totally agree with your post. Rather than pop off with the theory that best suits my agenda, I’ll wait for the formal report after the investigation is done and all the “real” facts are looked at first, (not the facts that our resident expert “mike” thinks are real)…

  9. So much white supremacy on display in this comments section tonight, it’s really telling.

    Black guy dies, so many folks somehow know “he was no angel” and justify the murder.

    Non black guy literally commits an act of domestic terrorism, and is politely arrested by the Police. “That man was so brave defending his car, and ya’ll don’t know how to talk about guns right, it’s a whatever instead of whatever” Or the “we need more information, it’s so unclear what happened”.

    It’s not a wonder we’re an authoritarian police state, so many of ya’ll fragile white crackers wanted this and cheered it on. Thanks for outing yourselves so easily.

    • How do you justify calling yourself “Angry Capital Hill Anti Racist Resident”, while at the same time, calling others “Fragile White Crackers”??? I’ll make a wild guess and say that you are not Caucasian. Am I right??? You sir, are an oxymoron…!!! Before you ask, no, I did not just insult you. I’m just calling them like I see them, (google oxymoron if you don’t understand what it means)..

  10. Combined video:

    https://twitter.com/xtraelv/status/1270269489695698944

    It is a weird situation. He turns the corner and stops for the pedestrian. He then speeds up towards the crowd but slows down before getting to the crown while people are chasing him and throwing things at the car. The guy that got shot reaches in to disable the car, punches him in the face and then got shot. He later exits the car and doesn’t aim his gun at others nor fires any more shots. There is a bit of a delay between the second and third video when he surrenders to the police.

  11. In addition to having two extended magazines taped end-to-end together (in the civilian world, people that conceal carry don’t do this on their carry weapon; mass shooters do this), I saw a photo of an ejected (un-fired) round found next to his car.

    I have no more info than you do, but it’s my belief that he intended to drive to the main body of protesters, run over and shoot a large number of people. I think that he awkwardly shot the protester without a good grip on the gun, and that it mis-fed (a semiautomatic needs a stiff grip on the gun to feed the next round correctly; it’s also possible he didn’t maintain his weapon correctly).

    After exiting the vehicle, he cleared the round that had misfed by racking the slide (that’s the unfired round found on the street), looked up the street and saw the police, and quickly walked/ran to them to get to safety.

    The idea that he happened to have this ridiculous mass-shooting weapon sitting on the passenger seat of his car, and that, rather than turning around where the crowd and people in the street were quite thin, he panicked and continued to accelerate towards a MUCH larger mass of people… is implausible at best.

    I believe he was intending to run over and shoot a bunch of people in the main group of protesters, but someone managed to grab his wheel, the gun misfed after his first shot, and he stalled his car, he deafened himself by discharging his weapon inside his vehicle without hearing protection, and he panicked and ran to the safety of his brother’s coworkers.

    • It appears Nick S is the only person so far to be able to understand the situation from both sides without being emotionally involved right out the gate. If you aren’t able to read to listen opposed to reading to immediately provide personal opinions, you need to get your own mind in check and change that attitude. We can just hope those in charge of this investigation is indeed qualified to do so because inserting your personal detective assumptions based off a video you are watching online isn’t all the way right. You most likely weren’t present to begin with, so why not let message unfold naturally? How they handle this situation along with how we as people react will send the message loud and clear as usual.

    • This is my take as well (except I didn’t know about the ejected round). I think he planned for something much bigger and either lost his nerve or was foiled by his own incompetence.

    • Oh my goodness… A lot of assumptions and abstract thought went into that comment. First of all, after over 23 years in the military, I can tell you that without a doubt, your theory on how weapons work, is hogwash. A firm grip is only required to re-acquire your original sight picture faster, to facilitate the next shot, not so that the gun functions properly. A semi-auto handgun works perfectly well, even when being held loosely in the hand. In fact, at anywhere from 800 to 3300 fps, the bullet is already gone out the barrel before the gun even recoils. As for the magazines, when did you become an expert on mass shooters? You claim that you are so I have to ask when and what papers have you published on the subject? Have you not been watching the news lately, it’s a war-zone out there so if you carry, (which is your god given right), you better have enough ammo to suppress a large crown if they wish to do you harm. I have been carrying since 1985, (pre-War Zone era), and I always had at least 2 extra mags with me at all times. I also carried open and concealed in Washington State for 8 years, (back in the 80’s & 90’s), which is still completely legal to this day. The multiple videos I have watched on this event pretty much back up his self defense claim. They also do not show him driving at any excessive speeds on that road either. In fact, they show him first driving and being assaulted by the large man and then speeding up some to get away from him, only to then stop before hitting anyone, and then be attacked again by the same man. That is when he shot him. I’m sorry but if a man reaches in my car and starts trying to pull me out of it, he is going to get shot, especially if he is twice my size like that man was. Its a fact of life as well as a god given right that we can protect ourselves from attacks by those that would wish to do us harm. I’ll tell you what, Mr Crime Scene Expert, how about we wait and see what the courts decide on this issue, rather than you coming off with a bunch of half baked “Minority Report” theories on what happened…??? Would that be ok with you, Tom Cruise…???

  12. I was there. I was in the road as he turned onto the street. I was a clearly marked medic, and stood in front waving at him to stop. He made eye contact with me and sped up. This was not an accident.

      • Sure, but he better be an actual “Eye Witness” and not just someone posting under the name of “E” to promote his own personal agenda. The video’s do not support him claim here so he better have a good story to tell them. My guess is that he will not go to the police. I say this because because filing a false police report of this magnitude, (a shooting incident), would be considered a felony offense.

  13. idiot drives into a crowd and then shoots someone. He’s as guilty as hell! He seen all the people there! He was going extraordinarily fast for the street he was turning on. He could see the garbage bins in the middle of the sidewalk.

    No the protesters did the right thing. These right wing nut jobs would not hesitate to attack protesters just like in Virginia on the same day when the KKK guy attacked protesters there.

    Then police need to charge this guy for wreck less endangerment and shooting someone. The guy that got shot should be suing the guy that shot him.

    If this guy was completely oblivious to what was going on he needs to be charged anyway. Who in the hell drives their car into a crowd and starts shooting?! Even if they are punching him?!

  14. It’ll be interesting to hear from the witnesses to what happened before the clip. He came into the corner fast, but based on the number of people chasing him from before he turns the corner, there was some issue that happened off camera.

  15. I’m sorry to bring the common sense into the conversation, But if that man was trying to murder people, he is the worst murderer I’ve ever heard of. 1. Avoids the man in the crosswalk, 2. Travels at MAYBE 10 miles per hour. Not 40-50 like Dan tried to say. ( And BTW he is not a walking speedometer so his OPINION of speed is not relevent) 3. Dan Gregory CHASES the car down.4. Dan Gregory ASSAULTS the driver. If a car were traveling at 40-50 miles an hour, how did an overweight man chase him down? 5. Fernandez shoots 1 time, then gets out after probably grabbing his stuff like I.D. and wallet, just speculating…. Gets out of the car with a firearm, and then does not shoot anyone else! Goes to the nearest police he can find, and turns himself in. BTW, lots of people tape magazines together like that because they think it’s cool. Clearly Mr. Fernandez used poor judgement, but driving down a street is not a crime, and Dan should not have chased him down. I think Dan should be charged with assault, and fernandez should be charged with inciting a riot, if anything….Although noone else seems to get charged for that so why should he?
    And BTW I agree with Dave, There could be more off camera, however Dan could not have known that from where he was at. I think the guy was freaked out because there were people chasing him from the other street. He was acting like he wanted to get away from there, not like he wanted to murder people. Being that he has a criminal record, he is obviously not making the best decisions in his life. I wonder what Dan Gregory’s record looks like

    • And Please stop saying he was a White supremacist. I’m sorry, I know it doesn’t fit the narrative, But for God’s sake his last name is Fernandez, He is of Spanish decent. Why is the truth so hard. Stop using race!!!! If you cite peoples race, you are a racist. the very fact that we categorize crimes in this country at all by race, is racist. So if you’re so freaking worried about stopping racism, then stop being a freaking racist yourself!!!

  16. The police and prosecutor disagree with the angry white supremacists in here trying to defend a domestic terrorist. They labeled him for exactly what he is. The KC Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has already said his self defense claim is invalid, and that based on their questioning of multiple witnesses (including an on-duty SPD officer who saw it happen) and all the clear video of the incident, he was clearly the attacker and therefore they view his self-defense claim as invalid. But you know these Republicans nowadays. Totally cool with terrorism and mass-shootings, as long as they get to keep their guns and cheer it all one. Hey all you Republican idiots in here, y’all are destroying your own movement. The “left” isn’t going to commit terrorist acts against you, the cops are required to deal with you, and just like your neo-nazi and KKK buddies, you’ll find yourselves slowing losing more and more allies due to your violence. Please go kill yourselves out of anger and not innocent people. Thank you.

    • Well, I’m not a republican, nor a white supremacist, but again, You decide to call everyone who disagrees with you a racist, and a republican, and a white supremacist, and then peacefully you tell anyone who disagrees with you to go kill themselves. Please don’t lecture people on who is evil and who is not as you clearly don’t have a moral compass that works, and you are the angry one. I think Fernandez will go free, no matter what anyone’s “statement” says. In a court of law they have to actually produce EVIDENCE. And feelings, and conjecture are not EVIDENCE. I suppose the Police Chief in Seattle is a “White Supremacist” too right? Because she doesn’t believe in giving up a Police Precinct to pander to a mob? OUCH, See I need a lesson on manipulation because I can’t figure out how you prove that one.

  17. Does anyone else not see in plain sight that he turned the corner quickly as a group of protesters were yelling and chasing his car. He couldn’t see the road was going to be blocked until he turned, but he was trying to get away. AND THEN, the “victim” admitted he grabbed the guys wheel, not thinking, because he realized he could have steered the car into other people, and then punched him. THEN, he got shot. Black Lives Matter, but right now, I would hope people would look at the facts and not the race of the “victim.” A guy, regardless of what you think he may want to do with a gun, shot someone after being chased for over a block through crowds, turned a corner, had someone grab his steering wheel and punch him before shooting. If he was looking to shoot someone, why did he try to speed away from angry protesters? Oh, must be part of his big plan to make the guy chase him and attack him, right? So what if he was speeding, he obviously slowed down when turning the corner so he didn’t hit the person at the crosswalk. Speeding isn’t reason for someone to attack a person last I checked. Equality doesn’t mean we stop holding people accountable for their reckless actions. Don’t use this shooting and this man as a martyr for Black Lives Matter. What would you do if someone chased you down the road, came through your car window and hit you?

  18. Idiots… You see cars speeding because people are chasing. “Stop Stop!… So we can all beat your ass!”… Libtards blind as usual. Provoking a fight or flight response from people when you mob attack them, then get confused when they choose fight.

    My guess is none of you idiots have ever been jumped by a mob of low IQ idiots before. Let me tell you what happens. ALL rules go out the window. You either run or you grab the nearest thing and start swinging. It’s fight or flight.

    Sure, see a few second clip of him exiting the car with the gun, but don’t see how the mob literally chased him down, blocked the car, then proceeded to beat him through the window. That idiot that got shot said “I was trying to disarm him” PFFFFT. I think the truth is clear after watching the video. He had no clue there was a gun. Hell when people found out they all scattered like the roaches they are.

    Will never be back here to see any reply. So save it.

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