A 16-year-old boy has died and a 14-year-old boy has been hospitalized in critical condition Monday following the latest shooting at the Seattle area known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, police revealed.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said it marked the second death of an African-American victim in the area. The first death associated with the CHOP came June 20 when 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson was shot and killed.
Monday marked the fourth shooting linked to the CHOP zone.
"It's very unfortunate that we have another murder in this area identified as the CHOP," Best said Monday. She elaborated that they were African-American victims "at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter but they're gone. They're dead now. And, we've had multiple other incidents -- assaults, rapes, robbery, shootings -- so this is something that's going to need to change."
Officials initially said the victims of the latest shooting were "men" before clarifying their ages.
Best said multiple 911 callers reported that two males had been shot in a vehicle on 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine early Monday morning, but by the time officers arrived at the scene both were gone.
The younger wounded teen arrived at Harborview Medical Center’s Emergency Department at about 3:15 a.m. by private vehicle, Susan Gregg, a hospital spokeswoman, told Fox News. He remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The second victim was brought to a Seattle Fire Department staging area outside the CHOP and arrived at the hospital via ambulance at 3:30 a.m. He later died at the hospital, Gregg said.
Best said investigators “found a white Jeep Cherokee riddled with bullet holes on 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine,” KOMO reported.
She explained the crime scene had been tampered with by the time law enforcement arrived and that police investigations into the shootings in the Capitol Hill area, which normally would involve interviews with witnesses, have been hindered as "people are not being cooperative with our requests for help."
"Our homicide detectives searched the Jeep for evidence but there wasn't much we could find," Best said. "The typical things we search for in a shooting like this weren't there and it's abundantly clear to our detectives that people had been in and out of the car after the shooting."
The corner of 12 Avenue and Pike Street is about two blocks away from Cal Anderson Park, where protesters initially camped out in tents to occupy the area first referred to as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. The encampment has become more difficult to manage, drawing violence and a large homeless population since the onset of the occupation three weeks ago.
Organizers on Sunday said they’re seeking to move into the abandoned East Precinct, where most protest leadership have already taken up shelter, as part of an effort to secure their best bargaining chip in convincing city officials to act on police reform and other demands, the Seattle Times reported.
City efforts to dismantle the CHOP were thwarted Friday when protesters laid down in the street to block Seattle Department of Transportation crews and heavy machinery from removing barricades around the occupied zone. Crews left after two hours without removing the barricades.
Negotiations between city leadership and organizers over the weekend did not prove fruitful, as hundreds of protesters have reportedly refused to leave the Capitol Hill area.
Anderson's death came as a result of the first shooting on June 20 that rung out around 2:30 a.m. near Cal Anderson Park on 10th Avenue and East Pine Street inside the CHOP. Another man was wounded in the incident.
“Officers attempted to locate a shooting victim but were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers’ safe access to the victims,” Seattle Police Department said in a press release at the time.
“Officers were later informed that the victims, both males, had been transported to Harborview Medical Center by CHOP 'medics,'” it continued. “Officers responded to Harborview and were informed that one of the victims, a 19-year-old male, had died from injuries.”
Anderson's death prompted Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to announce last week the city would begin efforts to dismantle CHOP, asking organizers to convince protesters to disperse to avoid police intervention.
A 17-year-old was shot in the arm around 10 p.m. on June 21 near Cal Anderson Park.
“To ensure the safety of medical personnel, police staged with Seattle Fire at the edge of the CHOP area and were gathering information about where the shooting victim was located when they learned he had been transported in a private vehicle to Harborview Medical Center,” a police press release said.
He has since been released from the hospital and declined to speak with detectives.
A man in his 30s was shot early June 23. Police received multiple 911 calls around 4:30 a.m. to report someone had been shot in the 1100 block of East Denny Way.
“Officers and Seattle Fire Department medics staged nearby and met the victim outside the area known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP),” a police press release said.
“The victim refused to provide any information about the circumstances surrounding the shooting or a suspect description to officers. Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot wound to the calf.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.