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Man is shot as he drives through a crowd of protesters in Provo

Provo police are searching for a man who shot the driver who ran a SUV through a crowd of protesters on Monday night. His wounds are not life-threatening, according to police. A group protesting police brutality had gathered at the intersection of University …
Continue reading on Salt Lake Tribune

Provo police are searching for a man who shot the driver of an SUV that sped through a crowd of protesters Monday night.

The man, whose wounds were not life-threatening, drove himself to Utah Valley Hospital, according to police.

A group protesting police brutality had gathered at the intersection of University Avenue and Center Street on Monday evening, according to Lt. Brian Taylor of the Provo Police Department, and a second group arrived to express their support for police. Shortly after 8:30 p.m., protesters were in the street, blocking cars, when a large, white SUV heading south on University Avenue pushed its way through a crowd of protesters, knocking several of them aside.

In a video circulating on social media, the SUV can be seen pushing protesters out of the way as it moves forward, and a loud pop can be heard. According to Taylor, the driver of the SUV — a man in his 60s — was shot.

According to a statement released by the city of Provo, the driver of the SUV pulled into the right turn lane to turn onto Center Street when “several protesters began crowding around the vehicle.” The statement from Deputy Police Chief John Geyerman does not mention the SUV driving into several protesters, but adds that the driver “hit the gas trying to leave the situation.” According to Geyerman, “The same protester ran after the vehicle and shot a second round that went through the rear passenger window” before concealing the weapon. He “later approached another vehicle at 500 North and University Avenue, striking and breaking the window with the handgun.”

In the same statement, Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi called peaceful protests “a fundamental right” before adding, “Criminal acts and violence such as we saw last night in Provo were anything but peaceful and are UNACCEPTABLE.”

“We are looking for a suspect,” Taylor said Tuesday morning. “There are a number of videos that show a person on the street approaching this vehicle and discharging a couple of bullets into that car.”

The shooter caught on video was “thoroughly masked,” Taylor said, but he was wearing shorts and police believe he was white and “lean.” And police do not know if he was there with one protesting group or the other.

“We don’t know what his intentions were. We don’t know what his involvement with the crowd was,” Taylor said. “We just know that he was there.”

Provo police ask that anyone with information about the shooting call 801-852-6210 or email npaterson@provo.org.

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