An overnight shooting in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, home to the Capitol Hill Ongoing/Occupied Protest (or CHOP), left one dead and one in critical condition, according to Seattle media.
It is, at least, the fourth such incident in less than a week, at the first to take place after Seattle city officials vowed to “retake” the increasingly violent CHOP demonstration zone, which occupies about six blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
“Two males suffering gunshot wounds arrived at Harborview Medical Center’s Emergency Department,” according to Fox News. “The shooting victim who arrived at the hospital at 3:30 a.m. from the CHOP area on Capitol Hill in Seattle has unfortunately died, Susan Gregg, a hospital spokeswoman.”
The second male remains in critical condition. Seattle Police say they are investigating the cause of the shooting. Initial reports suggested a “mass shooting” in or near the CHOP zone, but the incident appears to have been the result of a smaller altercation.
Monday morning’s shooting is the latest in a string of shootings that have now left two dead and Seattle city officials confused as to how to handle the CHOP demonstration, which refuses to uproot and leave despite please from both the Seattle mayor and protest organizers.
Last week, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city would take an aggressive approach to clearing the CHOP zone, but when crews showed up Friday morning to move barriers and evict the remaining protesters they were turned away by an aggressive demonstration that included a “die-in” blocking trucks from moving the concrete “walls” that mark the protest’s perimeter.
Protest organizers issued a missive to CHOP denizens late Thursday, imploring them to “move on” and take their activism online. But as The Daily Wire reported, remaining CHOP “residents” resisted the plea and pledged not to give up until their demands, which include disarming, defunding, and disbanding the Seattle police department, are met.
Sunday morning, “several hundred” protesters remained in CHOP, according to The Wall Street Journal, and those protesters now say they will “retake” the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, which has been vacant since early on in the CHOP protest and use it as the demonstration’s headquarters.
The Seattle Times said Monday that “they want to refocus the political energies of the three-week-old occupation around the abandoned East Precinct police station and shift away from Cal Anderson Park.”
The area around Cal Anderson Park, of course, has become ground zero for CHOP violence.
Seattle police, though, told the Times that they simply won’t have it.
“This is not a line in the sand, but it’s absolutely necessary for public safety that we are able to respond from that area,” Seattle’s police chief told CNN. “So we want to do as much as we can to work with the folks who are left, but we recognize that at some point there is going to be a reckoning for how we can get this resolved.”
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