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Joseph O’Sullivan

OLYMPIA — A man was shot in downtown Olympia Saturday afternoon, on a day that two different groups of political demonstrators came to the Capitol.

At around 3 p.m., two groups of people were arguing near the intersection of State Street and Franklin Avenue downtown, according to Lt. Paul Lower of the Olympia Police Department.

In the course of a verbal dispute someone in one group pulled a gun and fired on the other, striking the man in the foot, according to Lower. He was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Lower declined to name the victim or say if he was a member of either of the groups that came to town.

On Saturday evening, however, social media lit up with accounts and video of the shooting and its aftermath, with some naming the victim as Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, a member of the Proud Boys.

The department had a team of detectives investigating and seeking a suspect, Lower said Saturday evening. Officers were also seeking to speak with people who witnessed the shooting.

The shooting happened around the time a group of demonstrators were at the Capitol for an “End the Mandates” protest against Gov. Jay Inslee’s order requiring state workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. State officials were expecting counter-demonstration, described in a state memo as a “stand-up to fascists” event.

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