Anderson was one of two teens shot in the Zone at approximately 2:30 am on June 20. Surveillance video showed Long approaching Anderson with a handgun and then chasing him as Anderson backed away and fled.
Though others tried to restrain Long, he broke free. Reports until now have cited charging documents and stated variations of Long “fired multiple shots toward Anderson.”
However, newly revealed court documents obtained by The Post Millennial give a more graphic version of the events.
One witness, designated as "PR," told investigators that people started running away from the man with the gun, but one person fell or tripped and was there on his back laying helpless.
According to detectives, PR continued that he observed the man with the gun standing near the person on the ground and pointing his handgun at him. PR stated no one was going to do anything to help the man so he pulled out his own handgun and fired "seven or eight rounds in the air to distract the shooter" and "save the guy's life." PR said the shooter looked at him then looked back at the person on the ground and shot him twice describing it as "…one shot low at the victim then the shooter raised his gun slightly and fired again."
Surveillance footage obtained by investigators showed Long "fired or attempted to fire at victim Anderson while Anderson was still fleeing." Long continued to pursue Anderson and "fired his gun twice while pointing the gun in a downward angle." Anderson was not seen in the footage at that point but "presumably was down on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds to his body," according to investigators. An autopsy later revealed that Anderson had been shot four times.
Despite the alleged vicious nature of the murder and the ability to sentence him to life in prison and a $50,000 fine, plea deal documents obtained by The Post Millennial show the state is only recommending a sentence of 171.5 months, a little over 14 years in prison for Long and possibly another 36 months of "community custody" as well as paying the funeral expenses for Anderson. Long is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
After Anderson was shot, first responders could not enter the zone because of city-installed barricades which were placed at the request of the occupiers of the zone. Police were banned from entering to secure the scene. Other first responders were also met with resistance from the occupiers and could not enter the zone.
According to court documents, there was also a "security force of heavily armed individuals who were not affiliated with law enforcement who maintained a presence" in the zone "24 hours a day."
CHAZ "medics" rushed Anderson to the hospital in a pick-up truck and valuable time was wasted that could have been spent by first responders trying to save him.
Approximately 30 minutes later, "After gathering sufficient resources, multiple patrol officers entered the zone. The officers were confronted by an aggressive and volatile crowd who then surrounded the officers and shouted at them to leave. Officers also heard individuals yelling ‘he's already dead’ and ‘he was taken to the hospital,’" according to court documents.
Law enforcement spoke with a witness referred to as "JM" who stated he was "second in command" for the zone’s "volunteer security force" and that he had collected shell casings and bullet fragments from the area around the shootings. He then placed them in various Ziploc baggies with his understanding of the location of items contained therein and in some instances, the name of the person who found the evidence. JM had also taken photographs of blood stains on the pavement which he provided to police for their investigation.
Long fled the scene after the shooting. He was identified as the suspect the day after the shooting but was not arrested until over a year after the fatal incident, despite multiple tips from the public. He was located in Des Moines, Washington, not far from Seattle.
After the shooting, activists and city council members were quick to blame the "right-wing" and then-President Donald Trump for the shooting even though at the time, official social media accounts for the CHAZ blamed the attack on gang violence.
Marxist councilmember Kshama Sawant tweeted, "Right-wing hate & violence has grown dramatically with Donald Trump. If this killing turns out to be a right-wing attack, Trump bears direct responsibility. He has fomented reactionary hatred specifically against the CHOP, even threatened to send military."
Anderson’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of his son, claiming city leaders encouraged people to break the law inside CHOP and undermine the safety of others. The city settled for $500,000.
Another lawsuit filed by Anderson’s mother and other family members was dismissed by a federal judge in 2021 saying the city was not responsible for his death. Anderson's family has appealed the ruling.
In February, Seattle agreed to pay $3,650,000 in damages to business owners who brought suit after the CHAZ damaged their business, and property, and violated their constitutional rights.
The settlement came just weeks after a federal judge imposed sanctions against the city for deleting thousands of text messages between Seattle officials including former Mayor Jenny Durkan, former police chief Carmen Best, and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins during the armed occupation.
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