Provo, UT – A masked rioter shot a 60-year-old man who was driving through an anti-police protest on Monday night (video below).
The incident occurred near the intersection of Center Street and University Avenue, where the anti-police group gathered to block traffic and express their distain for law enforcement, The Salt Lake City Tribune reported.
A pro-law enforcement group soon arrived in the area to express their support for police, according to the paper.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., a mob of protesters blocked the street and refused to let vehicles move down University Avenue.
When a 60-year-old man in a white SUV attempted to make his way through the crowd, he suddenly found himself surrounded, cell phone footage showed.
“Several protesters began crowding around the vehicle,” Provo Police Department (PPD) Deputy Chief John Geyerman told KSL.
The video showed a masked suspect dressed in black as he approached the passenger side of the vehicle with his arms stretched out in front of him.
He appeared to have a gun gripped in his hands.
“The male protester ran toward the SUV on the passenger side, pointed a handgun at the driver, and shot one round through the window,” Chief Geyerman told KSL. “The driver, who was struck by the bullet, accelerated, trying to leave the situation.”
Video footage showed the SUV as it pushed its way through the crowd and sped off down the street.
“The same protester ran after the vehicle and fired a second shot that went through the rear passenger window,” Chief Geyerman said.
According to police, the shooter later busted out the window of another vehicle by hitting it with a handgun, KSL reported.
The 60-year-old shooting victim was able to drive himself to Utah Valley Hospital, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
He is expected to recover from his wounds.
Police arrested two people on Tuesday in connection with the attack, KSL reported.
Jesse Taggart, 33, has been charged with criminal mischief, firing a weapon near a highway, rioting, aggravated assault, and attempted aggravated murder, PPD Sergeant Nisha King told KSL.
Samantha Darling, 27, was arrested on charges of rioting and obstruction of justice.
Samantha Darling, 27, of Ogden, Utah, was arrested at the Black Lives Matter riot in Provo. She's been charged with obstruction of justice & rioting. Her social media posts are filled with support for BLM. https://t.co/LG7vv72U8G pic.twitter.com/3t2FVSWbq2
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 1, 2020
The Provo City Council denounced “this senseless act of violence” in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
The council noted that the attack was not representative of most of the protesters “who have peacefully and passionately expressed their voice.”
“These recent events should not overshadow the real grievances of people of color nor undermine or disrespect the brave service of our police officers,” the council tweeted. “This is a time for restraint and calm.”
Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said in a statement that although protesting is “a fundamental right…criminal acts and violence such as we saw last night in Provo were anything but peaceful and are UNACCEPTABLE,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Monday night’s demonstration ended after protesters marched to the PPD, where they were met by officers wearing riot gear, the Daily Herald reported.
“If you support our movement, you will peacefully go,” one of the event’s organizers told the crowd.
Most of the crowd had dispersed as of 10 p.m., the Daily Herald reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the videos below. Warning – Graphic Content:
Armed protester fires handgun into a vehicle as it tries to drive through a mob surrounding it in Provo, UT. This, most likely, will not be the only incident like this as protest mobs become more emboldened and violent. Acknowledge it, plan, and prepare accordingly. pic.twitter.com/nz0PpKSV4Q
— Patriot Civil Defense (@PatriotCD) June 30, 2020
— Lisi Merkley (@elisynkay) June 30, 2020