Charges “Being Discussed” For Driver Who Drove Through I-225 Protest, Shooter Identified
Aurora, CO – Colorado authorities are preparing to charge at least two people in Saturday night’s protest along Interstate 225 in Aurora.
Hundreds of protesters seeking the arrest and prosecution of Aurora police officers in the death of Elijah McClain last August, shut down a stretch of I-225 on Saturday night.
What resulted was a tense and chaotic scene which descended into violence.
Protesters began their roadway demonstration at approximately 6:17 p.m. GDT when they marched out onto East Alameda Parkway and blocked all westbound lanes.
From there, the group made their way out onto I-225 at approximately 6:34 p.m.
The protesters quickly shut down the northbound lanes and the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT) scrambled to close the southbound lanes.
A short time later, a blue Jeep could be seen driving through the crowd as protesters moved with haste to get out of the vehicles path.
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The Jeep did not strike anyone, but one protester opened fire on the driver.
The shooter fired multiple times and struck one adult male in the leg.
Another adult male suffered what was described as a graze wound to the head.
The Jeep exited the interstate at East 6th Avenue and “located officers who were investigating a separate, unrelated crash at that location,” according to APD.
Upon questioning, the APD officers impounded the Jeep for “evidentiary purposes.”
The driver has yet to be identified.
According to Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson, the driver of the Jeep told investigators he feared for his safety after protesters attacked his vehicle.
In a statement on Sunday, Chief Wilson said the driver told authorities that protesters surrounded his vehicle and began yelling and hitting it.
Additionally, he told police that as he was trying to get away by driving forward, a white pickup truck hit the front of his Jeep.
The driver of the white pickup, Sebastian Sassi, has been hailed as a “hero” on social media for attempting to stop the Jeep.
Sassi told the Aurora Sentinel, “It was a snap decision, because it was, ‘If I don’t slow this guy down, he’s going to kill people.’ The guy was clearly trying to kill people and f—k that.”
Despite the fact the driver of the Jeep reportedly feared for his well-being, Chief Wilson said charges may soon be filed against him.
What about the shooter who opened fire on the driver?
Also on Sunday, Chief Wilson expressed charges are likely to be brought against the shooter.
“I not only find great concern with someone making the decision to drive their vehicle toward protesters on the interstate but that someone in the protester group opened fire, recklessly shooting two people,” Wilson said. “We will be working with our District Attorney to discuss appropriate charges for the driver as well as working tirelessly to identify the shooter(s) on the interstate.”
A person of interest in the shooting has now been positively identified, though APD is withholding his identity at this time pending charges.
Additionally, according to APD, it is unknown at this time if there were multiple shooters.
That too is also still under investigation.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow new developments.