Someone Drove A Jeep Through Protesters In Aurora. Police Have Identified A Suspect But Haven’t Arrested Him

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A driver in a blue Jeep speeds through a protest demanding justice for Elijah McClain. A protester fired a gun as the vehicle drove by, shooting another protester. July 25, 2020.

Updated 7/28/20 7:38 a.m.

Aurora police have identified a man who allegedly drove his Jeep through a crowd of protesters Saturday at a demonstration against the death of Elijah McClain.

APD has not arrested the man or released his name.

Helicopter footage caught a blue-green Jeep speeding through a group of demonstrators who had walked onto I-225.

"It was just crazy," said rally organizer Terrance Roberts. "The highway was shut down so the last thing we were expecting was a Jeep to come busting through, literally come barrelling through the crowd like that because there were no cars on 225 north."

The man in the Jeep drove fast toward the group of protesters, Roberts said. Someone in a truck tried to block the Jeep, but it kept going toward people in the crowd, Roberts said.

He also said he heard gunshots, and a man walking with him was grazed on the head by a bullet. Police have identified and arrested a man who is suspected of shooting a gun at the vehicle as it moved through the crowd, and hitting other protesters.

During the incident, two protesters were shot and another fell or jumped from the highway and broke her leg.

APD spokesperson Officer Matthew Longshore said the helicopter footage alone is not enough to warrant an arrest of the Jeep driver.

The driver told police he was being surrounded and attacked, was scared, and needed to flee the area, according to Longshore.

The department has the Jeep in its possession as evidence, Longshore said.

In a similar incident the same day in Austin, Texas, a driver drove towards a crowd of protesters, and people exchanged gunfire, leaving one person dead.

In Eaton, Colorado, during a pro-police rally that also took place on Saturday, a man was arrested on suspicion of trying to drive through a crowd. He was later charged with seven counts of attempted first-degree assault, seven counts of felony menacing and reckless driving. No injuries were reported.

Roberts said it was “ridiculous” that the Jeep driver wasn’t arrested or charged in the incident.

"This guy was barreling through a crowd, he caused an accident and two people were shot and another woman broke her leg and nothing happens to him? That's ridiculous," he said.

Aurora police are asking the public for footage and eyewitness accounts of what happened before the Jeep was captured on video going through the crowd.

"People barely got out of the way," Roberts said. "It could have been a massacre or something."

This is a developing story and will be updated.