Video of a white Jaguar plowing into two protestors while speeding down Interstate 5 Seattle during the early morning on July 4 went viral on Twitter. The protestors are seen walking on the highway, which has been closed to vehicles for 19 days because of the protests. One protester, Summer Taylor, 24, was killed. Another was seriously injured.
Police said the driver, 27-year-old Dawit Kelete, of Seattle, was arrested, The Associated Press reports. Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead said during a press conference. He also said that the driver was not impaired while driving. Police are still investigating the incident and motive, but the suspect faces felony charges, according to the AP.
Taylor, 24, of Seattle, died from their injuries. Taylor was non-binary and used they/them pronouns. The other victim, Diaz Love, 32, of Bellingham, who also uses they/them pronouns, suffered serious injuries. Love posted a Facebook update on July 5. They said, “I’m alive and stable. In a lot of pain. I cannot believe Summer was murdered. If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong. Very wrong. My FB is filled with death threats, that and only being able to use one hand has me going slow. I deeply appreciate and feel all the love y’all are sending me.”
WARNING: The video below is violent and disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Washington State Patrol tweeted out photos of the suspect’s vehicle, which only showed minor damage to the windshield and bumper following the incident.
Mead said, “My hope is, as a result of this tragedy, protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate because I cannot guarantee their safety, plain and simple.”
During ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the name of George Floyd, a black who died as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, Seattle has continued to be a city of unrest amid the ongoing nationwide protests.
On June 29, a fatal incident took place during the Seattle protests. Seattle Police released an official statement confirming that “officers were investigating a shooting near 12 Ave/Pike Street. Reports of two people injured” in the CHAZ or CHOP, which is short for Capitol Hill Organized Protest area.
KIRO7’s Deedee Sun reported “one of the two CHOP shooting victims has died. The other is still in critical condition here. This is the second fatal shooting at the protest zone within 10 days.”
Video Shows The Driver Speeding Off After Hitting the Protesters
In another video shared on Twitter, a man approached the vehicle and yells at him to get out of the car. He approached the white Jaguar, bangs on the door, and again yells from to get out, but instead, the vehicle speeds off down the road.
The driver, Dawit Kelete, had driven around vehicles that were blocking Interstate 5 and onto the highway about 1:40 a.m., before striking the protesters, according to a police report from the Washington State Patrol obtained by the AP.
Police are still investigating and have not determined a motive.
One of the Victims Was Streaming Live Video From the ‘Black Femme March’ on Facebook When They Were Struck by the Car
One of the victims, Diaz Love, a native of Boise, Idaho, was streaming live vide on Facebook when they and Summer Taylor were struck by the car. They posted just before midnight and had been streaming for about an hour and 45 minutes before the incident occurred. They wrote in the Facebook post, “#watch Black Femme March takes I-5 #chop #seattleprotest.”
The video shows Love recording other protesters dancing and listening to music on the highway and talking to each other. Protesters can be seen talking and sitting on the highway in Love’s Facebook Live video. Then someone notices the Jaguar approaching and began saying, “car.” The warnings of an approaching car grow louder as Love and the other protesters try to run out of the way. The live stream ends with the car slamming into Love and their phone spinning through the air.