A Black Lives Matter protester who shot at cars during a demonstration in downtown Provo, Utah, on Monday, has been arrested and charged with attempted aggravated murder among other crimes.
A shocking video, posted across social media Monday, showed at least one protester discharging a weapon multiple times into the cab of a large SUV that drove through a Black Lives Matter protest held in Provo on Monday. Provo police corroborated what is seen in the clip, posting on social media late Monday that a shooting victim had been received at a local hospital and that officers were looking for information on the shooter.
WARNING: The video, via Deseret News, shows the shooting as it happened.
“Provo City Police were made aware of a planned Police Rally and a Counter-protest scheduled for last night,” the department posted Monday. “Both events coincided without incident until 8:38 pm when a call was received regarding possible gunshots and a hit and run.”
“Shortly thereafter,” Provo police added, “[w]e received another call regarding a shooting victim at Utah Valley Hospital.”
On Wednesday, Provo police announced that they’d arrested 33-year-old Jesse Taggart, one of the BLM demonstrators, in connection with the shooting, according to a local Fox affiliate.
“According to Provo Police, 33-year-old Jesse Taggart of Salt Lake City was arrested on charges of attempted aggravated murder, aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, rioting, threatening the use of a weapon in a fight or quarrel, criminal mischief, and firing a weapon near a highway,” per Fox 13 Utah.
“Police say Taggart shot the driver of an SUV on University Avenue as protesters crowded around the vehicle. The driver sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Taggart reportedly then fired another shot at the rear of the vehicle as it sped away from the scene,” the outlet added.
Witnesses told police that Taggart stowed the weapon after the shooting and went back to protesting, blending in among the throng of people attending the BLM rally.
“The victim was driving a white SUV on University Avenue and was attempting to turn onto Center Street when a group of 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,’” Deseret News reported, based on a synopsis of the incident provided by Provo law enforcement.
“This same protester later approached another vehicle at 500 North and University Avenue, striking and breaking the window with the handgun,” the outlet added.
“Peaceful protests are a fundamental right and often can become an important catalyst for positive change. Criminal acts and violence such as we saw last night in Provo were anything but peaceful and are unacceptable,” Provo’s mayor said Tuesday.
A second protester, a 27-year-old woman, was also arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and rioting, but police did not say whether she was connected to the shooting or to Taggart. Desert News notes that Provo authorities are looking for a second shooter.