Man shot during protests at Milo Yiannopoulos speech in Seattle

A man was shot before the right-wing pundit's speech at the University of Washington

Published January 23, 2017 4:41PM (EST)

Milo Yiannopoulos at the "Wake Up!" pro-Trump, anti-Muslim LGBT party at the RNC  (Salon/Ben Norton)
Milo Yiannopoulos at the "Wake Up!" pro-Trump, anti-Muslim LGBT party at the RNC (Salon/Ben Norton)

Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial editor at Breitbart News who has been described as "the person who propelled the alt-right movement into the mainstream," had to deliver one of his trademark right-wing college jeremiads in the aftermath of a serious shooting at his event.

A 32-year old man was shot in the stomach and is reportedly in critical condition, according to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. He was rushed to the emergency room and a person of interest turned himself in and is currently being held for questioning.

One police officer told the Seattle Times on Saturday that the man who fired the gun claims to have done so in self-defense and that the victim was "some type of white supremacist." This would be consistent with the type of crowd that frequently shows up to support Yiannopoulos and other people reportedly affiliated with the alt-right. Yiannopoulos himself has contested that definition and criticized media outlets that depict him as holding white nationalist views.

This isn't the first time that violence was reported involving Yiannopoulos' speech at the University of Washington. One video released on Friday purportedly shows protesters in black hoods starting fights on the campus in response to his appearance.

Yiannopoulos defended his speech after hearing about the shooting by saying, "If I stopped my event now, we are sending a clear message that they can stop our events by killing people. I am not prepared to do that."

The incident at the University of Washington is the second one this week in which physical violence has been used as a response to deliberately bigoted rhetoric. White supremacist Richard Spencer was punched in the face on Friday as he bragged on television about his movement's recent successes, sparking social-media debate over whether and when physical violence is ever an appropriate response to the rhetorical violence of Spencer and Yiannopoulos.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Donald Trump Milo Yiannopoulos Original Video Racism University Of Washington White Supremacy