UPDATED: 7:15 a.m. ET, July 5 —
One of the protesters who was hit by a car while marching on a highway in Seattle has died. Summer Taylor, a 24-year-old who was protesting on Interstate 5 early Saturday morning, was protesting against racism and police brutality when she was hit by a car driven by a man who identified as Dawit Kelete. Taylor, a Seattle resident, died at a local hospital Saturday night, according to the Associated Press.
Kelete’s car hit Taylor as well as Diaz Love, who remained hospitalized in critical condition. Video of the collision went viral Saturday morning. Kelete was taken into custody shortly after the collision after being tracked down and trapped by another protester. It was not clear what Kelete’s motivation was, if any.
The episode Saturday morning was the most recent instance of protest-related violence in Seattle.
The person who drove a car into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle early Saturday morning and left two of them in critical condition has been identified. The Associated Press reported that Dawit Kelete was behind the wheel of a white sedan that swerved directly into the protesters marching on a local highway, hitting two women. A graphic video circulating on social media showed the point of impact that violently flung the victims’ bodies high into the air over Interstate 5.
Kelete was taken into custody shortly afterward. But aside from his name, little else was known about the 27-year-old man. That includes the motive for what on the surface seemed to be the latest in a recent trend of people who oppose the protests against racism and police violence using their vehicles as weapons to ram protesters with.
The protesters who were hit were also identified. Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle and Diaz Love, 32, of Bellingham both suffered multiple injuries.
Before Kelete’s name was announced, people on social media suggested the driver had political motivations for the violence.
Video of the incident has gone viral. It follows below and is graphic in nature.
Another video emerged on social media purporting to show the white sedan’s driver in the car after the collision with the protesters.
Footage from the scene where the protesters were hit was recorded, as well.
An Instagram page credited to a person named Dawit Kelete showed multiple photos of a Black man having fun in various settings that resembled college life at Washington State University. The man in those Instagram photos appeared to be the same person in the photos circulating on social media.
A LinkedIn page credited to a person named Dawit Kelete identified him as a sales manager as well as an operations manager for DoorDash in Seattle. His education was listed as Washington State University.
The apparent hit and run early Saturday morning came as Seattle was dealing with the fallout from other protests in the city, including the are where the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) has been taking place. The Seattle Police Department has been arresting and removing anti-law enforcement protesters from the CHOP zone, a location with no cops where a Black teenager was killed and another was injured.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.