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Seattle Chaz shooting: police say violent crowd prevented access to victims | US news

Seattle police on Sunday continued to pursue their investigation of a shooting in a park in the city’s protest zone which left a 19-year-old man dead and another person critically injured. No arrests had been made.

The shooting occurred at about 2.30am on Saturday in an area near downtown known as Chaz, for “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone”.

The zone, an area cordoned off by protesters, evolved after weeks of protests over police brutality and racism following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

According to a police blog, officers responding to the shooting said they “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims”.

Video released by police appeared to show officers arriving at the protest zone saying they wanted to get to the victim and entering as people yelled that the victim was already gone. Police mostly retreated from the zone after clashes with protesters, KIRO-TV reported.

Private vehicles took two males with gunshot wounds to Harborview Medical Center, where the 19-year-old died and the other was in critical condition in intensive care.

The King county medical examiner’s office had yet to release the identity of the dead man. Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant said he was black.

The suspect or suspects fled the scene. Police asked the public for information. An investigation was “active and ongoing”, detective Mark Jamieson said on Sunday.

Mike Solan, president of a police union representing more than 1,000 Seattle officers, told KIRO he feared for the safety of law enforcement and the community at large.

“The community is at grave risk and the men and the women that provide that public safety service, they’re at grave risk as well,” Solan said.

He urged Seattle police to release all body-cam footage of the early Saturday incident, in order to show the public the dangers officers face daily.

President Donald Trump has criticized Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington governor Jay Inslee for allowing the Chaz to exist.

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