Seattle, WA – A protester was shot in the arm after he reached into a vehicle that drove into a crowd of demonstrators at Capitol Hill on Sunday night (video below).
The incident occurred near the intersection of Pine Street and 11th Avenue, just as Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best and Mayor Jenny Durkan were finishing up a press conference regarding the anti-police protests taking place in the area in the wake of the May 25 in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, The Seattle Times reported.
Cell phone footage showed a black sedan as it sped down 11th Avenue and headed towards the densely-populated crowd on Pine Street.
It was unclear whether the driver drove into the crowd intentionally or if he was unaware that the road was blocked up ahead.
Protesters moved out of the way seconds before the driver crashed into a barricade that two demonstrators dragged into the roadway just outside of a rainbow-colored crosswalk.
“I thought he was plowing right into the crowd,” witness B.J. Hayes told The Seattle Times. “I totally thought I was going to see a bunch of bodies flying through the air.”
As the crowd flocked around the car, one protester reached inside the driver’s open window, cell phone footage showed.
A gunshot rang out and the protester immediately stumbled backwards onto the pavement.
Most of the demonstrators abandoned the car at that point, with the exception on at least one individual who began slamming an object into the rear passenger side window, the video showed.
The driver jumped out of the vehicle, circled around the back of his car, and walked off into the dense crowd.
Meanwhile, protesters applied a tourniquet to the wounded man’s arm before volunteer medics rushed him to an ambulance, The Seattle Times reported.
As he was being led away from the scene, the wounded man told reporters that he was shot after he “punched” the driver “in the face.”
“I heard the gunshot go off in my arm,” he said added. “My whole thing was to protect those people down there.”
The protester was transported to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.
The driver was quickly apprehended, The Seattle Times reported.
The identity of the shooter has not been released, and it is unclear whether or not he will face charges, according to NBC News.
During their press conference prior to the shooting, Durkan and Chief Best apologized for cases in which Seattle police allegedly used excessive force against demonstrators and reportedly failed to de-escalate situations effectively, The Seattle Times reported.
The duo also alleged that police were too quick to deploy less-lethal weapons in some instances.
“Use of force must be rare, it must be necessary and it must be proportional,” Durkan declared. “Like everybody in our community, we know that was not the case, not only this week but in cases before… I know that safety was shattered for many by the images, sound and gas more fitting of a war zone, and for that, I’m sorry.”
Rioters attacked police with fireworks and other projectiles as the night progressed, NBC News reported.
Officers ultimately deployed tear gas, blast balls and pepper spray to disperse the irate crowd, according to NBC News.
The widespread rioting erupted in the wake of the May 25 in-custody death of 46-year-old Floyd.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest. His charges have since been upgraded to second-degree murder.
On June 3, former Minneapolis Police Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder for their role in Floyd’s arrest.
The officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.
Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.
The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.
Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.
The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.
Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.
After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it making an arrest.
Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after the incident and held on a $500,000 bond, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced, according to WCCO.
According to charging documents, the medical examiner’s preliminary report found no physical evidence that Floyd had suffered from asphyxiation or strangulation at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
The preliminary autopsy findings indicated Floyd had died from a combination of his underlying medical problems and possible substances.
“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” according to the complaint.
But veteran forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden told reporters on Monday at the Floyd family press conference that his independent autopsy determined that the man had died of asphyxiation much in the same way Eric Garner died from a choke hold in New York in 2014, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The Eric Garner autopsy report showed no damage to any area of his neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him.
But the final autopsy findings released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office hours later confirmed that Floyd had died from heart failure.
“Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” Floyd’s autopsy said. “Manner of death: Homicide.”
“How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the report continued.
“Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
The toxicology results showing fentanyl and methamphetamine directly contradicted assertions by the forensic pathologist that Floyd’s family’s attorneys hired to dispute the initial medical examiner’s report.
And a postmortem nasal swab showed that Floyd tested positive SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, according to KSTP. He had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in April 3.
Protests erupted in the Twin Cities after Floyd’s death, leaving both Minneapolis and the state’s capital of St. Paul burned, looted, and destroyed.
Rioters overran and torched the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct where the officers accused of Floyd’s homicide were assigned.
Protests spread across the United States, and became very violent in major cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, Oakland, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: