One teenager was killed and another seriously injured in a shootout in the Seattle Autonomous Zone.
A teenager, 16, was shot dead and died after being taken to the hospital. The other victim, 14, is in intensive care.
The zone, initially known as the Capitol Autonomous Zone (Chaz) and now called the Capitol’s Occupied Protest (Chop), was set up amid protests over the assassination of George Floyd.
As part of a protest against police brutality, it is self-policing.
In a statement, the Harborview Medical Center at the Seattle hospital said that one of the boys was brought in by a private vehicle at 3:15 am local time, while the other was taken by the fire department medical staff at 3:30 am on Monday market.
“The shooting victim who arrived in Harborview … at 3:30 am from the Chop area on Capitol Hill in Seattle unfortunately died,” the statement added.
Although the site was initially occupied by hundreds of peaceful protesters, this is the fourth shooting within Chop’s limits in the past 10 days.
In the first shooting, which took place in the early hours of June 20, a 19-year-old man named Horace Lorenzo Anderson was killed and a 33-year-old man was injured.
A second shot the next day left a 17-year-old boy injured and another person was injured in a third shot two days later.
After the latest violence, city officials said they are considering dismantling Chop and reopening a police station in the area that was abandoned by police when the area was created.
Seattle Police Department chief Carmen Best said she found a white jeep “full of bullet holes” near one of Chop’s concrete barriers.
She also accused protesters and residents of “not cooperating with our calls for help” and said the area is now “not safe for anyone”.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat who served as a U.S. attorney under former President Barack Obama, is also facing resignations from people on both sides of the political divide because of her protests in the city and in Chop.
Last week, she said she would work with protesters to end the protest zone. However, barricades are still on the rise.
How is the protest zone?
According to local media, the area is quite peaceful during the day, with people relaxing in the park while volunteers distribute free food.
It covers a six-block radius of the city’s modern art scene that has been gentrified in recent years.
Protesters planted a community garden and painted a large mural “Black Lives Matter” on the street.
At night, however, the area becomes tense when protesters march and openly armed guards patrol the streets.
How did the protest zone come about?
The protests in Seattle, Washington, began in response to last month’s death in police custody of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The area around East Seattle Police Station became a battleground between protesters and police earlier this month, prompting the governor to send the National Guard and the mayor to impose a curfew.
The mayor finally ordered the barricades to be removed near the police station and the police building was closed.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, threatened to “retake” the city, but Mayor Durkan and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, both Democrats, told him to take care of their own affairs.