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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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Taggart Image 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 Darling Image 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.

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:

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19 Comments
  • James says:

    A perfect example of a defense in court for why you didn’t stop when a group of protestors block the road.

  • Gerry says:

    The thing these drivers need to learn — if these ignorant MF’ers are blocking a public road inhibiting traffic — RUN OVER THEIR STUPID ASSES !!!!! Running 30 or 40 of them down just might change their attitude, the lack of taking such action only encourages them to think nothing will happen to them.

  • Frank Campo says:

    White guy. No riots for him.

  • Matt says:

    Should have run him over. Multiple times.

  • m says:

    trouble makers are nothing but white trailer trash. Pure and simple.

  • Matt says:

    Jesse Taggart needs 1) A damn good bath. 2) A free trip to Gitmo.

  • bill says:

    This horse hockey is way out of control and the DEMOCRATIC parties running towns and governments is totally out of their cotton picking minds for allowing/cowtowing to the protestors for defunding/disbanding police departments to gain votes and leave the citizenry without PROTECTION from these POS “protestors”. They are all evil bastards being paid to carry on like idiots. Watch the crowds that are “protesting” and the LEADERS can be singles out and arrested if need be just for breathing air and exhaling polutants. WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA.

  • CF
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