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Protester shoots 60-year-old driver whose SUV is blocked by mob of demonstrators; suspect arrested for attempted murder


Police said video shows that after the shooting the gunman 'conceals the firearm and continues to protest'

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Police in Provo, Utah, said a protester shot a motorist during a Monday night demonstration that was caught on video — and a suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident, Deseret News reported.

What are the details?

The victim was driving a white SUV on University Avenue and tried turning onto Center Street when protesters began "crowding around the vehicle. A male protester ran to the SUV on the passenger side, pointed a handgun at [the] driver, and shot one round through the window," Provo Deputy Police Chief John Geyerman told the outlet.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The 60-year-old driver was struck by a bullet and then "hit the gas trying to leave the situation," Geyerman added to Deseret News.

Cellphone video from witnesses shows the SUV appearing to push through the protesters, the outlet said, with at least one person falling to the ground.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Police said as the SUV sped away, the gunman ran after it and fired a second round that went through the rear passenger window, Deseret News added.

The victim, a Provo resident, remained hospitalized Tuesday but was "stable," police told the outlet, adding that he wasn't part of the protest or counterprotest.

And believe it or not, video shows the gunman then "conceals the firearm and continues to protest. This same protester later approached another vehicle at 500 North and University Avenue, striking and breaking the window with the handgun," Geyerman told Deseret News.

Man, woman arrested

Police on Tuesday night arrested Jesse Taggart of Salt Lake City on a charge of attempted aggravated murder in connection with the shooting, Deseret News said. Taggart, 33, also faces charges of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, rioting, threatening use of a weapon in a fight, criminal mischief, and firing a weapon near a highway, Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King told the outlet.

Jesse TaggartImage source: Utah County Jail

Samantha Darling, 27, of Ogden, also was arrested and faces charges of obstruction of justice and rioting, Deseret News said, adding that Taggart and Darling were being booked into Utah County Jail.

Samantha DarlingImage source: Utah County Jail

King told the outlet that citizens provided "evidence and testimony" to investigators regarding the incident.

Police also said Tuesday they were looking for a second gunman believed to have brandished his weapon and pointed it at the driver but did not fire, Deseret News said.

What's the background?

The outlet said a group calling itself Back to Blue planned to drive around the Provo Police Department and honk their horns Monday to show support for law enforcement.

But a counterprotest also was planned for the same time and place, Deseret News said, adding that Facebook pages list Salt Lake Antifascist Coalition, Solidarity for Justice, Salt Lake Equal Rights Movement, and Insurgence as event hosts.

About 100 people gathered on Center Street around 6:30 p.m. to protest, the outlet said, adding that the event remained peaceful until about 8:40 p.m. when the shooting was reported.

More from Deseret News:

Video shot by KSL-TV recorded what appears to be a man with his face concealed pointing a handgun at the SUV on the passenger side of the vehicle. The "popping" sound of shots being fired can be heard in the video.

Tuesday afternoon, pictures surfaced on social media of a second man holding a gun near the driver's side window of the SUV and also holding a gun in the middle of the street as the victim drove away. As of Tuesday night, Provo police were still working to identify that man. King said investigators do not believe that man fired his gun.

About 50 minutes after the shooting, tensions remained high as cars continued to drive through the lines of protesters, prompting some to jump onto the vehicles and hit the windows. Demonstrators marched to the Provo Police Department and were met with officers in riot gear. Amid calls to disperse and threats of arrest from police, protesters chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot."

The following news report about the shooting aired before arrests were made:

Provo police looking for suspect who shot man during Monday night protest youtu.be

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