Two men were shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, one died from his injuries, and the other is in critical condition. The Seattle Police Department confirmed that there was a shooting inside the CHAZ early Saturday morning.
People in the CHAZ called the Seattle police to report that they heard three to six gunshots around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. People were seen fleeing from the murder scene at 10th Avenue and East Pine Street in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area, according to KOMO-TV.
Seattle police dressed in protective anti-protest gear entered the autonomous zone to help the victim, but CHOP residents tried to prevent the cops from advancing.
“Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims,” according to the Seattle Police Department blotter. The cops were too late, and the victims had already been taken to the hospital.
The deceased victim was 19 years old. The other victim is being treated at the Harborview Medical Center for life-threatening injuries.
Seattle Police announced that the suspects are at-large and no arrests have been made. Police are investigating the murder in the area that is a “no-cop” zone. Officers collected shell casings and evidence from the murder scene despite harassment from CHAZ inhabitants, according to East Precinct police radio chatter.
The Seattle Police Department was driven out of the autonomous zone by various groups, including Black Lives Matter, following days of George Floyd protests and confrontations. Activists forced Seattle police to abandon their East Precinct building on June 8.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the lawless autonomous zone could blossom into a “summer of love.” The Democratic mayor added that the CHAZ is “more like a block party atmosphere.”
Durkan claimed that the CHOP is a “peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief and their desire to build a better world.”
Seattle’s police chief revealed that rapes and robberies are happening in the CHOP, but cops can’t respond to them.
“Our calls for service have more than tripled,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said. “These are responses to emergency calls — rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to.”
In the past week, a street preacher was physically assaulted in the CHAZ, and a Black man was tormented by people in the autonomous zone for carrying an American flag. There was also a literal dumpster fire in the CHAZ.