Second shooting at night contrasts with Seattle's CHOP by day
Gunfire in Seattle’s Capitol Hill left a 17-year-old youth wounded Sunday night. It was the second shooting over the weekend in or near CHOP, the area that’s been a focus of protests over racial injustice.
A spokesperson for Harborview Medical Center said early Monday that the 17-year-old boy was brought by private car to the hospital and treated for gunshot wounds and released.
It’s unclear where the shooting occurred, though an initial response call was at Harvard Avenue and East Pine Street, about two blocks from the CHOP zone.
Saturday morning shooting
Early Saturday morning, another shooting at CHOP left a 19-year-old man dead and a 33-year-old man in critical condition at Harborview. He was still in intensive care Monday morning, the hospital spokesperson said.
In that incident, calls about gunshots began coming in at about 2:19 a.m., according to the Seattle Fire Department. People carried the two wounded men to a medic station in front of Rancho Bravo restaurant. John Moore helped to treat the 19-year-old man who died.
“He had a pulse for about two minutes when we had him initially, and that faded pretty quickly,” Moore said. “And then as soon as that stopped, we started CPR.”
Medics took both men to Harborview before police arrived.
There’s a fire station on the perimeter of the CHOP, but emergency medical technicians did not enter to help treat the patients, staying about a block away while waiting for police.
The Seattle Fire Department said firefighters don’t have training to go into a volatile situation — they wait until the scene has been secured by law enforcement.
Seattle police released body camera video that shows them entering the CHOP and being met by a large crowd yelling for them to leave. Police say that they couldn't reach the victims.
The Fire Department is telling CHOP's medics to bring any patients to the perimeter of the area or to drive them to the hospital, which is what happened on Saturday and Sunday.
How do people in the neighborhood feel about Seattle's CHOP?
Sunday evening shooting
Exact details for the Sunday evening shooting are sparse. What is known is that a 17-year-old boy was treated at Harborview Medical Center and then released.
One online streamer captured sound of possible additional gunfire inside the CHOP Sunday evening.
According to his stream, chatting with people around the area, there was one shooting outside the CHOP before he arrived when conditions appeared normal and peaceful. He then heard a series of gun shots prompting him to run and hide behind a barricade.
Seattle police also say that they heard reports of two shooting incidents Sunday evening, but were unable to confirm exact details.
Night and day
The shootings occurred late at night or in the early morning hours, but there’s a decidedly different atmosphere during the day.
On Saturday afternoon — after the first shooting — hundreds of people were back in the CHOP, hanging out in Cal Anderson Park. Some were grilling barbecue in the street, and the whole area seemed back to normal.
People were painting murals and selling t-shirts. A memorial was set up on the corner of 10th and Pine, where the 19-year-old had been killed hours before.
Deschamps Bamba brought his daughter and said he felt safe walking around.
“I've never felt threatened,” he said. “This is my daughter. This is her first time here. I wanted her to experience it.”
Khoa Nguyen was walking his friend’s dog through the CHOP, and said he felt safe doing that.
“I think people can kind of control the situation if something's happening, so I'm not worried about that kind of thing,” Nguyuen said.
Nguyen lives near the CHOP and said he wouldn’t mind seeing some police officers around in case of emergencies.
“I do want presence of a police in governing the area, but not a huge militarized thing,” he said.
Police abandoned their East Precinct building after it became the focus of intense confrontations early in the protests.
Since then, a medic stand emerged outside the Rancho Bravo restaurant, and there are now armed CHOP security forces patrolling the area.
People inside the protest zone often say it's not always clear who is an official medic or who is official security, and they're not sure who to call in the event of emergency. They want to feel safe and they want to know that someone's keeping the peace.
But as far as letting police back into the East Precinct? Absolutely not, organizers say.
One group of organizers in the CHOP have discussed a nightly curfew, which would entail only holding protests between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. They also have proposed limited drug and alcohol use to the perimeter of the CHOP. The proposals are aimed at keeping noise levels down at night.
Another group that calls itself the "official account" for the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest released a statement following the first shooting over the weekend, expressing thanks to Mayor Jenny Durkan for allowing them to conduct an investigation into the incident. They said they are still are calling for her resignation, however.
They also state that they back Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant's claims that the events are likely right-wing attacks. And they also state that they are not allowing "superheroes" into the CHOP —Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones has been spotted patrolling the area.