The Jamar Clark Black Lives Matter protest turned deadly. A gunman is being sought after five were shot during the gathering. Minneapolis police officers began hunting for three suspected shooters on Tuesday morning. All five victims were transported to area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries late Monday evening, according to a law enforcement media release.
The Jamar Clark Black Lives Matter protest shooting occurred approximately one block away from the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct. A group of local activists and Black Lives Matter demonstrators camped at the location for more than a week, NBC News reports. Clark, 24, was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during a physical altercation on November 15.
“Dozens of officers responded almost immediately attending to victims and secured the scene,” the Minneapolis police statement said. “Additional resources were called in and are actively investigating the shootings, interviewing a multitude of witnesses.”
— fox8news (@fox8news) November 24, 2015
Jamar Clark protest shooting witness Jie Wronski-Riley, 19, told NBC News via a telephone interview that three men approached the Black Lives Matter protester and were “yelling and being aggressive.” Wronski-Riley also claimed that is was “obvious” that the three men arrived at the protest to “antagonize and confront people.”
Approximately 25 of the Jamar Clark shooting protester began “escorting” the group of three men away from the Black Lives Matter encampment, according to the witness. As the men were being moved away from the area, a “conflict” between the three men and the protesters reportedly began.
— The Root (@TheRoot) November 24, 2015
Once the altercation began, Wronski-Riley said most of the Jamar Clark protesters “broke off,” but about four of the Black Lives Matter supporters worked to ensure the three men would not come back, the witness added. After “ensuring they would not return,” the witness said the men “turned around and without warning and started shooting at us… everything was super chaotic.”
After five protesters were shot, dozens of members of the Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest took to Twitter to claim that the three men were white supremacists.
Warning: The following video contains coarse language.
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder was asked about the white supremacists claims posted to social media after the Black Lives Matter protest shooting. Elder said that at this stage in the investigation, it is simply too soon to tell if the three suspected shooters were indeed white supremacists. Police are still searching for a motive in the shooting.
“I have heard a dozen different theories, and as part of our investigation we will investigate every one of these until we can ascertain which one is applicable,” Elder added.
Jamar Clark was a suspect in an assault and was interfering with paramedics who were attempting to treat the victim, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. Allegations that Clark was handcuffed while “scuffling” with officers before he was shot have been hotly debated since the fatal police shooting.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a Minnesota state agency, is investigating the Jamar Clark shooting. The FBI has begun to investigate all deaths of black men by police officers for civil rights violations and is currently involved in the Clark case as well.
The fatal police shooting prompted a week of Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis, some of which turned violent. Friends and relatives of Jamar Clark said he was had gotten on the right track in the months before the fatal shooting and added that he cared deeply about both his biological and adoptive parents, his 14 siblings, and had gotten a job, Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports.
Minneapolis police challenge the “on the right track” beliefs by Clark’s family and friends. The officers maintain Clark was attempting to reach for their gun on the evening he was shot and killed. The officers were reportedly in the neighborhood because of a domestic violence dispute call between Jamar and his girlfriend.
Clark spent three years in and out of prison and was on probation for threatening to burn down an ex-girlfriend’s house. He has a July trial date set for an arrest after engaging in a high-speed chase while fleeing the police.
[Image via AP Photo/Jim Mone]