US

Police Release Seattle Man Who Shot In ‘Self-Defense’ (Updated)

Editor’s Note: A more current report on the shooting, after police released more information, can be found here.

A man who shot someone outside a speech at the University of Washington (UW) by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said his victim was a “white supremacist,” and police let the shooter go, even as the victim is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

In what appears to be a case of mistaken identity by the “anti-racism” vigilante, the shooting victim later turned out to be a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

And the university president, Ana Mari Cauce, wrote a letter Saturday that focused not on why one of the protesters attempting to stop the speech had shot someone, but instead questioned why the college had allowed the event to be held in the first place.

“In the weeks leading up to the event, I received calls and emails from many who wanted this event canceled, some of which cited the potential for disruption and conflict. My team and I consulted extensively with UWPD and Seattle Police beforehand, and while no credible threats were received, I gave serious consideration to the calls and emails and consulted with legal scholars and the UW division of the Attorney General’s Office,” the letter reads.

“So why did I allow the event to go on? First, there is the legal right of our student groups to invite speakers, even a controversial one whose message is anathema to many, including me. We are bound by the law.”

The shooter turned himself in Friday night after police put out a lookout, but he was released without charges “after telling investigators he fired in self-defense during a campus protest,” the Seattle Times reported. The lookout described the suspect as an Asian man in his fifties.

“One of the law-enforcement officials said the man who fired the gun claimed he had been assaulted before shooting the other man, whom he believed to be some type of white supremacist,” the report said.

The shooter was then “released pending investigation,” it said. Police did not name the shooter.

They said the 32-year-old victim had a “life-threatening gunshot wound to the abdomen.”

Yiannopoulos is a gay conservative and Breitbart editor who is currently doing a speaking circuit called the “Dangerous Faggot Tour” at college campuses railing against political correctness.

The department said it “seized wooden dowels, homemade shields, flares, hammers, and other items from masked individuals” from protesters who were irate that a conservative was speaking on campus. Progressives have tried to physically prevent people from hearing his ideas on numerous campuses.

“I have been very proud of our students who, to the best of my knowledge, acted with restraint,” the college president later said, even though video, news accounts and police demonstrate the prevalence of the violence at the event.

After the shooting, police escorted Milo’s audience to safety by having them remove Donald Trump hats and other apparel that made them targets for violence on the college campus.

Ironically, even if conservatives who wanted to hear Yiannopoulos talk were “white supremacists,” the shooter may have confused a fellow protester for a member of the alt-right.

In a story headlined “Man shot at UW no racist, friends insist, despite shooter’s claim,” the Times reported that two friends of the victim said he “supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, and … sports an anti-hate tattoo that consists of a black swastika surrounded by a red circle with a slash through it.”

The University of Washington Police Department, which is handling the incident, said guns are banned on campus and called the shooting “unfortunate and isolated.”

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