Five people were shot late Monday near the Minneapolis police precinct where protesters have staged a sit-in demanding justice for Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old man who was killed by police, and authorities are searching for three white men believed to be involved in the shooting of the five.
Police are unclear what sparked Monday’s shooting, but a witness, Oluchi Omeoga, told the Associated Press that he saw three men in masks among the demonstrators before the shooting began. Omeoga told AP that the men "weren't supposed to be there." He said the men left and some protesters followed the men to the corner. Then shots rang out, he said.
Police told the news site early Tuesday that they are looking for three white men they believe were involved in the shooting.
Police say that of the five people shot, none was seriously injured. Protester Mica Grimm told AP that "two people were shot in the leg, another in the arm and a fourth in the stomach."
Grimm was among demonstrators who have been staging a sit-in near Minneapolis police's 4th Precinct, protesting the Nov. 15 police shooting of Jamar Clark. Police say that on the day of that shooting, they were responding to an assault call. Once they arrived, police say, Clark was fighting with emergency-care workers, preventing them from tending to the victim. Officers confronted Clark, and according to police officials, a fight ensued and shots were fired. Clark was shot and died days later at a hospital. Witnesses say that police accounts of the shooting are inaccurate and that Clark was already in custody, handcuffed and lying on the ground, when police shot him. Demonstrators have been demanding that police release video footage of the incident.
According to AP, Minnesota's state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension doesn't have video of the entire incident but does have footage from the ambulance, a mobile police camera and other sources. Officials, however, have said that they won't be releasing the footage anytime soon because an investigation is under way and releasing the footage could taint the process.
Clark's family issued a statement through U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's (D-Minn.) office, thanking protesters for "the incredible support" they have shown the family.
"But in light of tonight's shootings, the family feels out of imminent concern for the safety of the occupiers, we must get the occupation of the 4th Precinct ended and onto the next step," the statement said, AP reports.
Read more at ABC News.