The city of Walnut Creek quickly imposed a curfew Sunday evening after a woman was shot in the city’s downtown as more than 200 people gathered, some of them looting stores in and around Broadway Plaza, in the afternoon.
The young woman was among the crowd and was shot near Koja Kitchen, a restaurant at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Locust Street, according to a restaurant employee who saw the shooting.
The bullet hit her arm, and Walnut Creek police officer began applying pressure until she could be taken to John Muir.
The city has implemented a curfew from 6 p.m. that will stretch until 5 a.m. the following day and last until Monday, June 8, unless officials decide to lift it early. City officials asked businesses to close, city spokeswoman Betsy Burkhart said.
The shooting came as hundreds — mostly young people — spread out throughout the area, some breaking into stores with hammers and coming out with bags of belongings.
Looting st the Vans and Urban Outfitters in downtown Walnut Creek. @EastBayTimes pic.twitter.com/JX3f5c3h4u
— Jose Carlos Fajardo (@jcfphotog) June 1, 2020
People had started to assemble downtown around 4 p.m., peacefully chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.” But soon after, a crowd turned into the Broadway Plaza shopping corridor and tried to break into Nordstrom, turning next to H&M and other stores along the row.
Police officers who were initially outnumbered did not immediately arrest the groups. Burkhart, confirmed Sunday evening that police, with outside agencies, were forming a perimeter around the area.
Burkhart could not confirm details about the shooting other than shots were fired in the area Sunday evening.
Police started tossing tear gas cannisters in the area in an effort to disperse crowds. The group mostly dispersed by about 6:30 p.m. Around that time, Pleasant Hill Police Department issued a message on Twitter noting that crowds of protesters had gathered along Contra Costa Boulevard, in the downtown area and the Crossroads Shopping Center. Police warned people to avoid the area.
Police activity along Contra Costa Boulevard, Downtown and Crossroads Shopping Center regarding crowds of protesters. Please avoid. More information to follow.
— Pleasant Hill PD (@PHillPD) June 1, 2020
The San Leandro Police Department also warned that there was “police activity” at several shopping centers, including Bayfair Mall, Marina Square and Walmart.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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Author: Annie Sciacca, Jose Fajardo, Martha Ross