MINNEAPOLIS - Police on Tuesday arrested two men suspected of shooting five Black Lives Matter demonstrators, while the family of a black man whose death inspired the protests called for an end to demonstrations that have gone on for days outside a Minneapolis police station.
No one suffered life-threatening wounds in Monday night's shooting, which took place about a block from the police department's Fourth Precinct, where protesters have been demonstrating since the Nov. 15 death of Jamar Clark, 24, who was shot by a police officer.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. By Tuesday afternoon, police had announced two arrests: a 23-year-old white man taken into custody in suburban Bloomington and a 32-year-old Hispanic man arrested in south Minneapolis. Authorities said they were still seeking additional suspects.
Henry Habu, who said he has been providing security for protesters, said he and others approached four white people who were standing under a "Justice4Jamar" sign to ask what they were doing there. The group was composed of three men and one woman, with three of them wearing masks that left their eyes exposed.
"We're here for Jamar," one said, according to Habu.
Habu said they tried to escort the four from the scene and they took off running. Habu said he did not see the shooting that followed, but heard it.
"It happened so fast," he said.
Oluchi Omeoga witnessed the shooting and said a handful of protesters followed three men in masks to a street corner, where the men pulled out weapons and began firing.
Two people were shot in the leg, another in the arm, and a fourth in the stomach, said Mica Grimm, an organizer with Black Lives Matter who said she arrived on the scene soon after the shooting.
In a statement released early Tuesday through U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's office, Clark's family thanked protesters for their "incredible support" but asked, in light of the shootings, that the demonstration outside the precinct offices end and protesters move "on to the next step."