Man Opens Fire at Capitol Hill Protest Sunday Night

by Emerald Staff

Update, 6/10/20:

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office today filed one count of Assault in the First Degree (a class A felony) against Nikolas Alexander Fernandez in the shooting of Daniel Gregory on Sunday, June 7. The investigation into the shooting and the events that led up to it is still underway. An arraignment for Nikolas Fernandez is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on June 24 at the King County Courthouse.

Update, 6/8/20:

Nikolas Alexander Fernandez, who shot a protester on 11th Ave at East Pine Street on Sunday, June 7 had his first court appearance today after being arrested Sunday night. According to Casey McNerthney with the King County Prosecutor’s Office (KCPO), the KCPO asked a judge to hold Fernandez on $350,000 bail. The judge then set his bail at $200,000, but after his family spoke about his community ties and inability to pay, the judge lowered his bail to $150,000.

Fernandez’s second appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10 at 2:30 p.m.


Daniel Gregory, a Black Seattle man, was shot at a protest (inspired by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers) while trying to defend other protestors after an armed man drove his car through a throng of protesters in Capitol Hill before jumping out of the vehicle brandishing a weapon in a crowd of innocent bystanders, a surreal moment that occurred during another night of protests, Seattle police said. The shooter has been identified as Nikolas Alexander Fernandez by the King County Prosecutor’s Office. His court hearing was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. today.

The shooting took place on 11th Ave and Pine Street East, according to multiple accounts on Twitter that are from both on-the-ground Twitter users and users who monitor Seattle Police Department radio band frequencies. There is at least one video of the attacker, and Facebook Live streams have also been showing the alleged shooting that took place on the evening of June 7.

According to KING 5, a medic at the scene initially told reporters the weapon was a taser, but journalist and photographer Alex Garland who put a tourniquet on the victim’s wound said in a text to the Emerald that “[i]t was absolutely a bullet wound.”

Seattle police also recovered a gun from the scene.

“I was right there. I put the tourniquet on him. I saw the bullet hole. It still had pieces of his sweatshirt in it,” Garland said.

According to these accounts, a man drove a black car into the crowd of protestors on Capitol Hill, and open fired from his car. According to the Seattle Police Department, the man is now in custody. Police do not believe there have been any other victims, following a search.

Photos initially showed that, and several users on Twitter believed, the man appeared to be a middle-aged white man. However, the Emerald cannot confirm this and images now circulating of the alleged shooter closer up appear to contradict these claims. Based on the hoodie the man is wearing in images and the license plate frame of the car, the attacker appears to be somehow affiliated with the Iron Workers Union.

According to the Seattle Fire Department, the 27-year-old Gregory is in stable condition and is currently at the Harborview Medical Center. Garland posted a video of street medics assisting the man who was attacked. Garland said he put a tourniquet on the man. The video shows street medics keeping gauze on the wound.

“I was standing right here. I see a car running down … Pine. I catch him, I punch him in the face. I hear the gunshot go off, in my arm. I move right in time when he reached up, but my whole thing was to protect those people. My whole thing was to protect those people down there,” said Gregory.

There is currently a Go Fund Me to help pay for Gregory’s medical bills.

The Emerald has reached out to the Seattle Police Department and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that an armed man drove his car through a throng of protesters and opened fire on the crowd, which is not accurate based on current evidence. The man opened fire on Daniel Gregory and proceeded to get out of the car and brandish his weapon through the crowd of protesters, but no additional shots fired have been reported at this time. This article also originally listed 11th Ave as “11th Street” and has since been updated to correct that.

This article has had multiple contributors and has been updated several times since its initial publication.

Featured image by Alex Garland