A man suffered life threatening injuries after being shot in the abdomen at a Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of Washington on Friday.
Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News and outspoken Donald Trump supporter, was on stage at Kane Hall when he received news of the shooting. After he concluded his talk, police held attendees inside the venue because of the “very volatile” situation unfolding outside.
The Seattle Times reported that police asked the crowd to remove pro-Trump hats and other attire when leaving Kane Hall, where Yiannopoulos spoke.
According to Times reporter Katherine Long, “police snuck Yiannopoulos audience out through underground parking garage after telling them to remove Trump hats.”
It is not yet clear whether the 32-year-old victim of the shooting was protesting Yiannopoulos’ speech or if he was a supporter of the anti-political correctness activist. The University of Washington issued an alert stating that the suspected shooter was still at large. He is described as an Asian man around 50 years of age.
Update: The suspect turned himself in to University of Washington police at around 1 a.m. local time. His identity has not been revealed. The victim underwent surgery and is in critical condition.
Protesters outside of the event, which is part of the openly gay Yiannopoulos’ “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” assaulted attendees and threw bricks and other objects at police officers. One victim was a high school senior who said he was assaulted and paint bombed because he was wearing a pro-Trump hat.
When Yiannopoulous received word of the shooting, he left the stage for several minutes. But when he returned, he announced that he would not end the show until he received news of a fatality.
“We don’t really have a protocol for this. I don’t know if it is a fatality or not. Until I do know that, my suggestion is that the show should go on,” he told the audience.
“If I stopped my event now we are sending a clear message to these people that they can stop our events by killing people. I’m not prepared to do that.”
That declaration was followed with a “Milo” chant from the audience.
Prior to the shooting, Seattle police had recovered hammers, pipes and flares that protesters planned to use outside of the event.
Officers have recovered wooden poles, heavy pipes, flares & hammers @ Westlake Pk. pic.twitter.com/dYhuinPP8J
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 21, 2017
In a statement after the shooting, Yiannopoulos said that his “prayers are with the victim, whoever he is.”
The shooting followed a day of violence in Washington, D.C. in response to Trump’s inauguration. Left-wing protesters vandalized businesses, set fires, and assaulted police and Trump supporters across the city. On Friday afternoon, a protester sucker punched alt-right leader Richard Spencer while he was giving an interview on a D.C. sidewalk.
This piece has been updated with additional information.