Police investigate 3rd shooting near Seattle protest zone

Lisa Baumann
Associated Press

Seattle – Police on Tuesday were investigating the third shooting incident near a neighborhood protest zone in Seattle that has been occupied since a police station was largely abandoned after clashes with demonstrators over a week ago.

Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday the city would move to wind down the protest zone following the shootings that have distracted from changes sought by thousands of peaceful protesters opposing racial inequity and police brutality.

A sign welcomes visitors Monday, June 22, 2020, near an entrance to what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle.

The latest shooting occurred early Tuesday and left a man in his 30s wounded in the Capitol Hill neighborhood east of downtown. His injuries were not life-threatening.

Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was killed Saturday and the condition of a 33-year-old man shot around the same time was upgraded Monday to satisfactory. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the arm Sunday night near the area. He was treated at a hospital and released.

Police said the latest victim refused to provide any information about the shooting or a suspect description. There were additional reports of shots fired around the same time but no reports of additional victims.

Less activity was seen Tuesday on the streets of the protest zone, but a nearby park where people have been camping for weeks remained bustling.

Durkan has said police will soon return to the station where police clashed with protesters following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Protesters cordoned off the several-block area near the East Precinct after riot squads used tear gas, pepper spray and flash-bangs on large crowds of mostly peaceful protesters. The tactics have drawn condemnation from city leaders and a federal court order temporarily halting the use of the weapons on demonstrators.

Police Chief Carmen Best said in a letter Monday to the community that the situation requires a complete re-envisioning of community safety and the police department’s role in it.

“We have listened for generations, and we will continue to listen,” Best said. “But the time for talk and committees is over. We must act. Together.”

She provided a draft of discussion items such as redesigning the mission of city police to reflect humanization not criminalization; allowing a community member to join the command staff; and working with the community to determine which non-violent 911 calls can acceptably be passed to other agencies or turned over to the community.

AP photographer Elaine Thompson contributed from Seattle.