Jesse Taggart, a BLM activist, has been arrested and charged with attempted aggravated murder after allegedly shooting a driver at a riot in Provo, Utah.
Taggart, 33, of Salt Lake City, allegedly shot the 60-year-old driver at a BLM riot on Monday evening in Provo. The victim was not involved in the riot at all, but was just driving in the area, according to Sergeant Nisha King of the Provo Police.
A group of rioters began to surround the man’s vehicle, when one man, identified as Taggart, shot one round through his window with a handgun. The driver then sped off trying to flee the situation. Taggart allegedly then shot another round through the back window as the man drove off.
Video footage from witnesses shows the man identified as Taggart then conceal his weapon and continue to protest, proceeding to smash the window of another vehicle later in the evening. The victim was taken to Utah Valley Hospital, and remained hospitalised but stable by Tuesday evening.
Video shows vehicle being surrounded by #BlackLivesMatter rioters in Provo Utah and shows protester/rioters shoot into the car multiple times as driver attempts to escape #DezNat pic.twitter.com/GYuWDiXm2o
— Hoss Snake Guy (@NiasDiad) June 30, 2020
Taggart was arrested on Tuesday, and charged with attempted aggravated murder ,aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, rioting, threatening the use of a weapon during a fight, criminal mischief, and firing a weapon near a highway.
Samantha Darling, 27, whose social media is full of pro-BLM posts, was also arrested in connection with the shooting, and charged with obstruction of justice and rioting, although the Provo PD have not confirmed whether Taggart and Darling know each other.
Samantha Darling, 27, of Ogden, Utah, was arrested at the Black Lives Matter riot in Provo. She's been charged with obstruction of justice & rioting. Her social media posts are filled with support for BLM. https://t.co/LG7vv72U8G pic.twitter.com/3t2FVSWbq2
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 1, 2020
The police are still on the look-out for another man who held a firearm near the driver’s side of the window of the car, but did not discharge his weapon.
Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said on Tuesday night that “peaceful protests are a fundamental right and often can become an important catalyst for positive change,” but that “criminal acts and violence such as we saw last night in Provo were anything but peaceful and are unacceptable.”