Man who shot protesters in suburban Denver gets jail time

DENVER (AP) — A man who shot and wounded two demonstrators while apparently aiming at a Jeep that was headed toward the crowd during a protest to bring attention to police violence in suburban Denver in 2020 was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail followed by five years of probation.

Samuel Young, 24, had been convicted in March of two counts of second-degree assault, four counts of attempted manslaughter and a single count of illegally discharging his gun, The Denver Post reported.

“It all happened so fast, there was no time to think, just to react,” Young said in court. “My reaction was wrong… I cannot take bullets back. I immediately regretted what I’d done and wanted to repair the damage.”

Several hundred people who attended the July 2020 protest in Aurora had walked onto a highway and blocked all of its lanes. A Jeep approached from behind the protesters and headed toward the crowd, prompting Young to fire five shots.

Two shots hit the back of the Jeep, and two shots hit fellow protesters. One man was shot in the leg and another was grazed in the head. A woman also broke her leg when she leaped from the highway.

The driver, who pulled off the highway and contacted police after the shooting, was not charged.

The protest was organized in support of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was arrested in August 2019 after someone called 911 to report a suspicious person wearing a ski mask and waving his arms while he walked down the street.

He was arrested by Aurora police and injected with 500 milligrams of ketamine by first responders called to the scene. McClain suffered cardiac arrest, was declared brain dead and taken off life support less than a week later.

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