A man was shot Thursday evening near the “Occupy Oakland” encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza and declared dead after being rushed to the hospital, according to local media reports.
NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez said she heard 6 to 8 gunshots at 4:59 PM PST, near the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street.
Protesters said they saw a group of men flee the scene after the incident and did not recognize the victim.
“This was not an internal incident,” one of the protesters told the San Francisco Chronicle. “What happened was the result of neighborhood violence. Don’t forget, we’re in downtown Oakland.”
Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said two groups had gotten into an scuffle and one group fired at the other.
“What happened is not a symptom of ‘Occupy Oakland,'” said another protester. “Crime is a symptom of the city.”
An ambulance arrived at the encampment about ten minutes after the shooting and paramedics performed CPR on the bleeding victim, who was rushed to a local hospital.
Aimee Allison of RootsAction.com said the man appeared to be shot in the leg, and that protesters linked arms around the injured man and shouted “no pictures.”
Some protesters also attacked a TV cameraman and others who tried to record the aftermath. At least two news photographers were reportedly hurt.
Protesters fear the police will use the incident to clear out the demonstration, which has now lasted a month. Organizers had planned a celebration for Thursday night.
Police cordoned off a large area where the shooting took place to search for evidence.
“Our condolences and greatest sympathies go out to the man’s family and friends,” said Occupy Oakland in a statement. “Come down to support the occupation now — bring candles and flowers to show solidarity with victims of violence.”
Earlier Thursday, another man died from a gun shot at the “Occupy Burlington” protest in Vermont. Witnesses said the shot was self inflicted.
Watch video of the aftermath of the shoot, courtesy of Twitvid user Tyska, below:
Updated 10:33pm ET