Seattle Police investigated reported gunfire on the edge of Cal Anderson overnight as the clean-up effort is slated to continue following Friday’s sweep of protesters and homeless encampments from the park. Meanwhile, a medical emergency in the park earlier this week had a tragic outcome, police say.
According to East Precinct radio updates, police received reports of multiple shots fired and three vehicles speeding away from the area of 11th and Denny early Sunday around 1:30 AM. There were no reported injuries or property damage and it is not clear if police found any evidence of the shooting at the scene identified by at least one witness.
The reported gunfire follows Friday’s SPD and Seattle Parks sweep of Cal Anderson to clear encampments, and the city said, address public safety issues around the park. Officials say they are beginning efforts to “bring activation efforts of art, music, ongoing connection to social services, community work parties, and recreation opportunities to the park, along with installation of community supported lighting” in hopes of addressing long-standing issues with the busy park.
Sunday’s gun incident took place near the location of a reported drive-by molotov cocktail attack that burned a vehicle parked at Cal Anderson in the early morning hours of Friday before police entered the park. The burned vehicle was destroyed but there were no reported injuries. SPD continues to investigate the incident.
The park was also the location of a tragic incident early Thursday morning. CHS previously reported the incident in which Seattle Fire was called to the park for a person in their 20s reported to have been found unconscious and unresponsive on pavement at the park. According to Seattle Fire radio updates, crews performed CPR on the patient and administered Narcan for a possible overdose. The patient was transported in critical condition to Harborview, SFD says. In a brief on the incident, SPD says the patient “is being kept alive by mechanical life support devices but is clinically deceased.”
Seattle Parks says more work will follow the three-day clean-up in Cal Anderson currently underway and that it is beginning plans for neighborhood and community-led work sessions after New Year’s to try to reactivate the park and establish ongoing social services work there once it is officially reopened.
UPDATE 8:00 PM: A group that decided to hold an “Antifa soccer” match on Bobby Morris field ended up being cleared from the turf by Seattle Police in an incident that included seven arrests and one person taken to the hospital after medics said they couldn’t determine what if any injury the patient had sustained.
SPD deployed a large number of officers to Cal Anderson in response to what was described as a "Game of Antifa Soccer." Multiple arrests, and one unresponsive person taken aware by Seattle Fire. Shortly after, dog walkers returned to the playfield. pic.twitter.com/71R0ygLo2P
— matt (@mmitgang) December 21, 2020
Police told CHS that the 4:30 PM incident began with officers responding to complaints of the group in the closed park. SPD said that an officer was reportedly spat on as they made contact with the group in the gathering that was being livestreamed.
As police took the alleged spitter into custody, SPD says a group tried to free the person being arrested. Police say six more people were taken into custody as a large crowd formed. Seattle Fire was called to treat the downed person and take them to Harborview where they were reported in stable condition after having been unresponsive after being taken down by police at the field.
SPD said Sunday night the Force Investigations Team is investigating the reported injury.
The weekend brought more than 30 arrests related to activities at Cal Anderson including 25 on Friday around the initial sweep. The Puget Sound Prisoner Support group, a volunteer collective that has been assisting those taken into custody during protests and related actions, said over the weekend that all 25 arrested Friday were released by Saturday. “We witnessed rapid releases of ppl held on misdemeanor charges from the jail,” the group posted. “Proving what we knew all along-the hours and hours arrestees have spent in custody while slated for release is an intentional cruelty dealt out by jail staff.”
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