Shots were fired early Tuesday morning near the scene of a Minneapolis protest for the second night in a row, but there were no reports of injuries, police said.
As The Washington Post reported, Black Lives Matter protesters have been camping out in front of the Minneapolis’s 4th Precinct since Nov. 15, when two of the city’s police officers were involved in the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
On Monday night, five people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot injuries when at least one person opened fire on the crowd. Within 24 hours, police had arrested a 23-year-old in Bloomington, a nearby city, as well as a 26-year-old and a 21-year-old who turned themselves in to investigators. A fourth person, a 32-year-old Hispanic man arrested in south Minneapolis, was released after it was determined he was not at the shooting scene, police said.
By Tuesday night, all seemed peaceful. Not long before the shooting, the Star Tribune posted video of those celebrating “love for the community,” as one demonstrator put it.
At around 2 a.m. Wednesday, that changed. An officer who answered the phone at the 4th Precinct confirmed that shots were fired, and that there were no injuries or arrests. Nor were there any details on who fired the shots, at whom or why.
While the Associated Press and other outlets reported that all was quiet overnight at the protest, demonstrators took to social media to discuss the gunfire. Alternative news outlets such as Unicorn Riot also noted the shots; one posted video.
After the volley, protesters were urged to take cover.
“Everybody get down!” someone shouted. Another responded: “F—k this laying down s—t! Let’s shoot back!”
The 4th Precinct said no arrests were made. After the shooting, police combed the scene for bullets.
Several people involved in the demonstrations — including a Black Lives Matter organizer and the NAACP Minneapolis chapter president — have called the alleged gunmen who attacked Monday night white supremacists. Authorities, however, have not confirmed those claims — and it was unclear who had opened fire early Wednesday.
On social media, the attacks were swiftly condemned.
“SECOND TIME IN TWO NIGHTS PROTESTORS HAVE BEEN SHOT AT,” one person tweeted. “CALL THIS WHAT THE F— IT IS. TERRORISM.”
After Clark was killed on Nov. 15, police said that he was the suspect in an assault and interfered when paramedics tried to treat the assault victim.
“At some point during an altercation that ensued between the officers and the individual, an officer discharged his weapon, striking the individual,” the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a statement.
The officers involved were Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension — the state agency investigating the shooting — they have both been with the Minneapolis police for a little more than a year, and both have been officers for seven years. Police have not said which officer fired the fatal shot.
The FBI has announced that it will conduct its own investigation, while the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota and Justice Department prosecutors will review evidence to see whether any civil rights statutes were violated.
Some witnesses said Clark was handcuffed when he was shot, while police said that did not appear to be the case. Drew Evans, superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said that authorities were still working to determine whether Clark was handcuffed when he died.
Demonstrators called on police to release video footage of the shooting. Evans said that there is no complete video of the shooting, though investigators have multiple videos that he said are related to the encounter.
Michael E. Miller, Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery contributed to this report.