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GUNSHOTS leave 1 dead, 1 injured after protesters force Seattle PD from ‘cop-free’ zone

One person is dead and another wounded after gunfire rang out early Saturday in Seattle’s autonomous zone, the Seattle Timesreports.

Police responded to reports of the shooting around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

“Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers’ safe access to the victims,” the Seattle Police Department said in a written statement.

Under the protection of officers in riot gear, investigators were inside the zone collecting spent shell casings and other evidence.

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Six city blocks have been dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone after demonstrators protesting the George Floyd murder burned down a police precinct in the area on June 8, prompting police to abandon the facility.

The shooting occurred just one block from the precinct.

Video recorded moments after the shooting shows volunteers trying to help the victims. Video also shows police attempting to enter the zone but being surrounded by a mob of protesters, prompting other protesters to line the street in an apparent attempt to protect the officers, according to the newspaper.

People at the scene reportedly drove the two shooting victims in private vehicles to a local hospital.

Harborview Medical Center told the Seattle Times that two gunshot victims were treated. One victim, a 19-year-old man, died and the other victim, also male, was listed in critical condition inside the hospital’s intensive care unit.

One witness, a security worker, reported seeing the shooter in a black sports utility vehicle. A 911 caller reported seeing a man leave the vehicle with a rifle.

No one has been arrested yet in connection with the incident.

Saturday’s shooting is the second in the autonomous zone. A man who allegedly drove his vehicle in the zone on June 7 is accused of shooting a protester who was trying to stop the driver. That shooting victim was not seriously injured, according to the newspaper.

To report information about Saturday’s shooting, or to provide evidence such as photos and video, call the Seattle Police Department’s Violent Crime tip line at 206-233-5000.

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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]