16-Year-Old Driver Shot and Killed at Seattle's CHOP Zone

A 14-year-old passenger was also seriously hurt.

A 16-year-old boy has been killed and a 14-year-old seriously wounded in a shootout at Seattle’s CHOP Zone.

The pair were driving a car that appeared to ram the barriers surrounding the Capitol Hill Organized/Occupied Protest zone in the early hours of Monday morning before a fatal shootout.

Armed protesters defending the occupied area claim the teens opened fire first from a car, and that they returned fire in self defense.

Police admitted they were having difficulty determining exactly what had happened, claiming the crime scene had been tampered with.

In addition, investigation was being hampered by the fact that police have been banished from the six-block occupied area, previously known as CHAZ, or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

Surveillance footage shows the 3:00 a.m. silence broken by a woman shouting: “Security, eyes up! We’re looking for a stolen Jeep, multiple shots fired.”

Within seconds, screeching tires can be heard in the distance, before a car speeds around the corner and crashes into a line of portable toilets. At least 20 shots ring out as people on the streets scatter.

It is unclear who is firing the shots.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best confirmed on Monday the driver was killed; he is the second Black teen to be shot dead since the area was occupied on June 8.

19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson was killed in a shooting on June 20. A 17-year-old male and a 33-year-old man were also injured in separate shootings there on June 21 and June 23, respectively.

“When investigators arrived, they found a white Jeep Cherokee riddled with bullet holes on 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told Komo News. “Officers were told two men in the vehicle had been shot, but both were gone when officers got there.”

“Our homicide detectives searched the Jeep for evidence but there wasn’t much we could find,” she said. “They typical things we search for in a shooting like this weren’t there and it’s abundantly clear to our detectives that people had been in and out of the car after the shooting.”

She said that while detectives were trying to figure out what happened, “as has been the case in other crime scenes up in this area, people are not being cooperative with our requests for help.”

“It’s very unfortunate that we have another murder in this area identified as the CHOP,” she continued. “Two African-American men… dead at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter but they’re gone. They’re dead now.”

“And we’ve had multiple other incidents — assaults, rapes robbery, shootings — so this is something that’s going to need to change.”

A police press release claimed the surviving victim refused to give any details about the incident. First responders had to meet him outside the fortified zone.

A plan to try to dismantle the barriers surrounding the occupied zone, which is centered on the abandoned police East Precinct, was itself abandoned on Sunday.

Protesters have occupied the zone for almost three weeks now, in a move sparked by the death of George Floyd, whose neck was knelt on for almost nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis last month.

[via TooFab]

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