DENVER (AP) — Supporters of the man accused of shooting two people at Colorado protests for the death of Elijah McClain where a Jeep drove toward protesters on the interstate are asking for all charges to be dropped, CBS 4 Denver reported.
Samuel Alvin Young of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, has been named as the suspect and has been charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of assault by the police department in Aurora where the protests took place.
Young had his first initial court appearance Friday while demonstrations of support by police protesters took place outside the Arapahoe County District Court. Protesters held signs of support for Young and asked for his charges to be dropped because they say Young was trying to protect the public from the driver.
Police received a call at 7:01 p.m. that a car was trying to ram protesters in the northbound lanes of Interstate 225, according to the police affidavit. “As a result, a shooting occurred as one of the protesters shot at the car while it was driving past the protesters,” the report states.
According to the affidavit, Young turned himself into police. It also details the victims and their sustained injuries: Joseph Quinton Sagrillo, 21, was shot in the left leg. Creyton Loud, 26, was shot near the temple, and a doctor determined the injury had a risk of death, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of organ function.
Witnesses described Young’s firearm as an “old school Wild West gun” and “wooden handled revolver.”
Following the shooting, witnesses observed Young fell to his knees later emptying his gun and casings over the highway. One witness said Young seemed “horrified at what he did.”
The July protest was organized in support of 23-year-old Elijah McClain, who was arrested in August 2019 by police who responded to a 911 call about a suspicious person wearing a ski mask and waving his arms while he walked down the street.
McClain was arrested by Aurora police and injected with 500 milligrams of ketamine by EMS workers called to the scene. McClain suffered cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead. He was taken off life support less than a week later.
McClain’s death has become a national rallying cry along with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in protests calling for police reform.