Police in Olympia, Washington are promising a thorough investigation after two African-American men were shot while allegedly stealing beer.
The black men, stepbrothers aged 21 and 24, were unarmed on Thursday when they were shot by a white police officer at a supermarket.
Both men, later identified as Bryson Tyler Chaplin and Andre Damon Thompson, were hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds.
Officer Ryan Donald admitted that the men did not have weapons, but claims they attacked him with a skateboard.
White Cop Claims He Shot Two Unarmed Black Suspects After Being Attacked With Skateboard
Click to tweet
Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum said that race did not appear to be a factor in the shooting.
“It deeply saddens me that we have two young people in the hospital as a result of an altercation with an officer of the law,” Buxbaum said. “Let’s come together to support their needs, the officer’s needs, the needs of the families and our community’s needs. Let’s not be reactive.”
After news of the shooting was made public, several protests took place around Olympia.
Officials claim police were called to the supermarket in response to a shoplifting call.
FromThe Seattle Times:
Donald was one of several officers who responded to a shoplifting call at the Westside Safeway store shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday. Employees reported two men with skateboards had tried to steal beer and, when confronted, threw the beer at the employees and fled, according to police.
Donald stopped two suspects a short distance from the supermarket and “a few minutes later, the officer notified dispatch that he had been involved in a shooting,” the department said in a news release.
Officer Donald has been placed on administrative leave.