Man who shot protester appears in court, held on suspicion of first-degree assault
The man who drove into a crowd of protesters on Capitol Hill Sunday and shot one made his first court appearance Monday.
The 31-year-old was arrested by officers when he turned himself in at the scene. He has not yet been charged, but is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault. A King County District Court judge set bail at $150,000.
According to court documents, the suspect told police he was driving around the area and thought he could get through. He claimed protesters were kicking his car and attempting to grab him through his driver’s side window.
In his statement issued to police, he said he reached for his gun, which was unholstered in his front passenger feet, and fired a single shot at a protester who had reached through his window and grabbed the steering wheel. When asked why he fired his gun, he reportedly told police he “was fearing for his life,” and that his brother works at the East Precinct. It’s unclear at this time what role his brother holds in the police department.
The 27-year-old man he shot told police he saw the car driving toward the crowd at 40 to 50 miles per hour, and was attempting to stop him from hitting protesters. Video from the scene shows the car speeding around the corner onto 11th Avenue toward the area protesters were gathered.
The man said he reached into the car, grabbed the steering wheel, and then punched the driver in the face, before being shot in the shoulder. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.