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Man drives car toward Seattle protesters then shoots one, police say

Worldwide protests for Black Lives Matter
Worldwide protests for Black Lives Matter 01:23

Authorities say a man drove a car at George Floyd protesters in Seattle Sunday night, hit a barricade, then got out of the vehicle brandishing a pistol. At least one person was wounded.

A 27-year-old male was shot then taken to a hospital in stable condition, the Seattle Fire Department said. Former University of Maryland basketball player Dino Gregory posted on social media that it was his brother, Dan, who was shot.

The alleged gunman was arrested, reports CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO-TV. Police said they recovered the gun and don't believe there were any other victims, the station added.

Video showed part of the scene in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where hundreds of demonstrators have gathered for days near a police precinct.

car-is-surrounded-by-grorge-floyd-protesters-in-seattle-shortly-after-it-was-driven-toward-them-on-060720.jpg
Car is surrounded by Grorge Floyd protesters in Seattle shortly after it was driven toward them on June 7, 2020 KIRO-TV

It was the second night of mayhem near the police station. On Saturday night, police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters on Capitol Hill. Seattle City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best for the police action.

At a news conference with Best that ended about a half-hour before the shooting Sunday night, Durkan addressed the concerns of protesters and other elected officials, KIRO reported. Durkan said she would freeze spending on police technology, weapons, vehicles and buildings until further talks with community members. And she said she would find $100 million in budget allocations for community needs. However, the mayor said the money wouldn't come from police budgets, as many protesters have demanded.

On Saturday night, police said rocks, bottles and explosives were thrown at officers by a small group of protesters in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Best said six officers were injured, including two who were taken to a nearby hospital.

Authorities said the crowd was ordered to disperse, then incendiary devices were used.

After the flash bangs were deployed, several City Council members and other elected officials went to the protest lines.

It followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier with medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality. It also came a day after Durkan and Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department's use of one kind of tear gas.

Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzalez wrote on Twitter on Saturday night that she is "outraged" by the police response. "This is NOT what de-escalation looks like!"

And City Council member Teresa Mosqueda urged Durkan and Best to "stop traumatizing protesters and neighbors" and said on Twitter she received reports that the protests had been peaceful.

In an open letter to Durkan on Sunday, the head of Seattle's police union blamed Saturday's unrest on "criminal agitators who continue to attempt to provoke police."

During the day Sunday, thousands of people again turned out to protest. In South Seattle, demonstrators gathered at a park to hear speakers. And people again turned out in the Capitol Hill neighborhood Sunday evening. The Capitol Hill event was largely peaceful until the man drove the car into the barricade.

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