- A man drove through a crowd of protesters demonstrating on a closed section of a Seattle, Washington, freeway early Saturday morning.
- Two women – 24-year-old Summer Taylor and 32-year-old Diaz Love – were hit and rushed to the hospital.
- Taylor died on Saturday night and Love remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
- The driver has been identified as Dawit Kelete, a 27-year-old man living in Seattle. He has been detained. The motive remains unclear.
- Seattle has been the scene of multiple Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks.
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A 24-year-old woman has died, and another is in critical condition, after being hit by a driver while participating in a protest in Seattle, Washington, early Saturday morning.
A Seattle driver somehow made his way onto a closed section of the Interstate 5 freeway around 1:30 a.m., and drove through a crowd of protesters.
Two women were hit and immediately rushed to the hospital. Summer Taylor, 24, died on Saturday night and Diaz Love, 32, remains in critical condition at the intensive care unit, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Love had been livestreaming the protest – under the title “Black Femme March takes I-5” – on Facebook at the time. Toward the end of the video, people can be heard screaming “Car!” alongside screeching tires and impact. Insider has watched and listened to the video, but chosen not to display it.
Police have identified the driver as Dawit Kelete, a 27-year-old man who lives in Seattle.
The driver was alone at the time of the attack, the AP reported. He drove off immediately after the attack, but a protester at the scene got in a car and chased him for a mile and managed to stop him, the news agency added.
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State troopers arrived shortly afterward and put him into custody.
Here are two pictures of the suspect vehicle that struck two protesters on I-5 this morning. Investigation into motive and point of entry in to I-5 are still under investigation. pic.twitter.com/gU1QH6TFTu
— Trooper Rick Johnson (@wspd2pio) July 4, 2020
Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility on Saturday morning on two counts of vehicular assault, with no bail, the AP reported.
The motive remains unclear, but authorities said the driver was not impaired. According to court documents cited by the AP, Kelete was reserved upon being arrested, and asked if the pedestrians were OK.
One witness told KING 5 on Saturday that it appeared to be a “purposeful attack.”
Washington state officials are still not sure how Kelete managed to get onto the freeway, which had been closed to vehicles for at least an hour at the time of the attack.
The Washington State Patrol has since barred all protesters onto the I-5 freeway, and said it will arrest any pedestrians found on it.
Seattle has been the scene of multiple Black Lives Matter protests in recent weeks, a part of the larger nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
The Seattle protests linked to BLM have caught national attention.
The CHOP – which stands for “Capitol Hill Occupation Protest,” and was initially known as the CHAZ, or “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” – emerged several weeks ago as a part of anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests in the city.
The autonomous zone that took over a network of streets began with a positive, festival vibe that has evolved into violence, a man who lives nearby previously told Insider.
On Wednesday, 100 heavily-armed police officers swept through CHOP, carrying out a city order to clear the area.
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