Police announced on social media that five people suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and that officers were searching for “3 white male suspects” who fled the scene.
Miski Noor, an organizer at the Minneapolis arm of Black Lives Matter, said the shooting happened as demonstrators were escorting three masked men who had been behaving suspiciously away from the site of the rally, where people have gathered for more than a week to protest the Nov. 15 shooting of Jamar Clark, 24.
When they reached a dark area, the men turned around and opened fire on the demonstrators before fleeing, Ms. Noor said.
Jie Wronski-Riley, a student at the University of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that the shooting occurred as protesters tried to move the counter-demonstrators, who had been taunting protesters, away from the protesters’ camp in front of the police station. Suddenly, Wronski-Riley heard what sounded like firecrackers.
“Surely they’re not shooting human beings,” he thought to himself before looking down and realizing that two African American men on either side of him had been hit, he told the Star Tribune, adding that the incident turned “really chaotic, really fast.”