Another night of gun violence has sent at least one person to the hospital after a shooting in the area of the Capitol HIll protest camp Sunday night.
All information is preliminary at this time and has not been confirmed by police or Seattle Fire. Seattle Police has confirmed there was a shooting and that one person was taken to the hospital and that there were reports of a possible second shooting incident.
UPDATE 6/22/20 10:26 AM: SPD has posted a brief on the shooting reporting that the victim is a 17-year-old:
At 10:03 PM, police were monitoring a demonstration which had marched from the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area to the West Precinct at 8th and Virginia in downtown Seattle. The march was returning to Capitol Hill when SPD’s 911 Center received multiple reports of gunfire near Cal Anderson Park. To ensure the safety of medical personnel, police staged with Seattle Fire at the edge of the CHOP area and were gathering information about where the shooting victim was located when they learned he had been transported in a private vehicle to Harborview Medical Center. Police received reports of a possible second injured person but were unable to confirm that there were any additional victims. The 17-year-old victim sustained a gunshot wound to the arm. He declined to speak with detectives. He was treated and released from the hospital. The Seattle Police Department is responding to 911 calls all over the city, including inside the CHOP. For 911 calls from within CHOP, officers will attempt to coordinate contact with victims and witnesses outside the protest zone. Anyone with information on the shooting that occurred Sunday is asked to call the tip line at (206) 233-5000.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple rounds of gunfire in an incident around 10:40 PM near the protest zone. Video from the scene also captured the sounds of gunfire.
A witness said organizers reported one victim was taken to the hospital with a shoulder wound.
There were reports of a possible second victim but no other person was reported injured in the incident.
Seattle Fire responded but the victim was transported by private vehicle to Harborview.
Police investigating reported shooting inside CHOP zone. One person at HMC with gun shot wound. Hearing reports of a second shooting, but have not be able to verify at this time. Conflicting reports, will update with more information when available.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 22, 2020
The shootings come as there has been growing pressure to address public safety issues around the camp and amid criticism that the occupation is distracting from the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement in Seattle.
CHOP volunteers Sunday posted a letter documenting a community effort at the camp to address safety concerns. “First, we would like to acknowledge that no organizations, protests, or revolutions are perfect,” it begins. “We must all be willing to collectively learn and react quickly to mistakes within our movement. We do not want to see what was started with the intention of lifting the BLM message destroy before us all. We want to learn and react now.” Included in the community recommendations are efforts to reduce drug and alcohol use within CHOP, overnight quiet hours that focus camp activities between 8 AM and 8 PM, and improved communications for volunteer teams including medics and security within the camp.
Just minutes before Sunday’s shooting, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a statement about her administration’s efforts to address safety concerns around the camp.
“Working with Chief Scoggins, Chief Best, and other City departments, the City will continue to make changes on Capitol Hill in partnership with Black-led community organizations, demonstrators, small businesses, residents, and trusted messengers who will center de-escalation,” Durkan writes. “In the coming days, I believe together we can create a Capitol Hill environment that allows for peaceful demonstrations at Cal Anderson, quality of life for residents, and take concrete steps towards a new vision for policing in our City.”
The Seattle Police gang unit was called to the scene.