The passenger in the Jeep that sped through a Black Lives Matter protest, causing one woman to fall off the highway, said they were simply trying to drive to the airport and became jolted after people threw projectiles at the vehicle.
Footage of a blue Jeep racing down a Aurora, Colorado highway as Black Lives Matter protesters desperately jumped out of the way made headlines on Sunday as tensions mount nationwide.
The scene divulged into chaos after the blue Jeep crashed into another vehicle and one man opened fire.
But according to Gregory Goodenough, the driver had not specifically targeted Black Lives Matter protesters and drove onto the highway while following GPS instructions.
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On Sunday, a blue Jeep was spotted racing through a Black Lives Matter protest in Aurora, Colorado, that caused demonstrators to jump out of the way
Gregory Goodenough (pictured), the passenger in the Jeep, said they were not targeting protesters and were trying to reach a local airport
During a two-minute long YouTube video, Goodenough described the incident from his point of view.
Goodenough said a friend was driving him to a local airport ahead of a flight to San Jose, California.
When Google Maps reportedly alerted them of a potential accident at an intersection, Goodenough said they rerouted the directions and took the next available on-ramp onto Interstate 225.
‘We did notice that there were Black Lives Matter protesters on all sides of the street trying to stop traffic.’ said Goodenough.
‘We then avoided any pedestrians in the roadways and continued onto the freeway. There was no police barricade that stopped us.’
Interstate 225 was temporarily closed that day for the Black Lives Matter protesters and investigators are still determining how the Jeep got onto the highway.
Goodenough noted that demonstrators were on the side of the road, as well as standing in the middle of the highway.
He claimed protesters began throwing ‘projectiles’ at the vehicle and ‘trying to get in front of the vehicle with bats to damage the vehicle.’
Goodenough said they avoided pedestrians with the Jeep, but a white pickup truck began driving next to them and crashed into their car.
Interstate 225 was temporarily shut down on Sunday as Black Lives Matter protesters held a demonstration in honor of Elijah McClain
Goodenough said the Jeep driver sped up the vehicle after protesters hit it with projectiles and approached them with bats
One woman who reportedly tried to dodge the Jeep fell 20ft off the side of the highway (pictured)
Sebastian Sassi, the driver of the white pickup truck, later told the Colorado Sentinel that he intervened because he believed the blue Jeep was going to hit and possibly kill demonstrators that day.
Goodenough confirmed that claim in the YouTube video and the white pickup truck ‘intentionally crashed into us and described us as having murderous intent for going towards airport.’
‘Once this white pickup truck did crash into us, a man with a bat then approached the vehicle and began swinging at the vehicle,’ he said.
‘We then proceeded to speed off to avoid any potential damage to ourselves and the vehicle.’
Goodenough said the Jeep sped off because the driver wanted to avoid any damage to the vehicle and themselves.
That’s when a gunmen opened fire on the highway and fired off seven rounds.
A white pickup truck intentionally crashed into the blue Jeep (pictured) because they believed Goodehough and the driver may cause harm to protesters
‘We then proceeded to go even faster and made our way through the crowd, which dispersed as we approached as well as once the gunfire did go off,’ said Goodenough.
He ended the video by saying the driver then pulled off Interstate 225 and recounted the event to police officers.
In a Instagram post, Goodenough said that protesters ‘beat our vehicle with bats, crashed into our vehicle on the freeway, and then fired 5+ rounds of gunfire at us.’
‘Now they’re trying to charge my best friend who was driving with attempted murder.’
As of Saturday morning, neither Goodenough or the driver, 27-year-old Kyle Faulkison, have been formally charged with anything.
A spokesperson from the Aurora Police Department told DailyMail.com the ongoing investigation will determine if Faulkinson will face charges.
‘At this time, no charges have been filed against the driver of the Jeep. However, there is an open and ongoing investigation into the incident which will determine what charges, if any, are appropriate,’ the spokesperson said.
The Rocky Mountain Collegian reports that a tweet identified Faulkinson as a former student of Colorado State University and worked at PowerShield Limited.
Public Safety and Rick Communications Manager Dell Rae Ciaravola confirmed that Faulkinson was briefly a student in 2015 and a semester in 2016. He did not graduate and is not currently a student at the institution.
‘Kyle Scott Faulkinson tarnishes the name and reputation of CSU through his actions and CSU should condemn and distance the school from this person,’ Ehret Nottington, a protester and political science major, told the publication.
A statement released by the Aurora Police Department did not identify Faulkinson, but said during preliminary interviews the driver claimed to have sped off because he was afraid.
‘He claims that the reason the he drove towards the protesters is because he was scared and trying to get away,’ the statement read.
But Black Lives Matter protesters are dissatisfied and previously rebuked claims that the Jeep was not used to target demonstrators.
Candace Bailey, a protest leader, told CBS 4 that she’s not sold on Goodenough’s version of events.
‘You cannot see where the individual entered the highway. APD had it blocked off at Mississippi. Where did it come from?’ she said. ‘ That’s a bold face lie.’
During the incident, several demonstrators were forced to flee from the Jeep and one woman appeared to fall 20 feet off the side of the highway to dodge the vehicle.
One protester was struck when gunfire rang out and is in stable condition after going to a local hospital for treatment.
A second protester was grazed by a bullet and suffered a wound.
Samuel Young, 23, was arrested for allegedly aiming his rifle at the Jeep when he opened fire.
‘It was the most reckless thing I have seen in a long time,’ Aurora’s Deputy Chief Harry Glidden said.
A gunman opened fire during the Black Lives Matter protest, which resulted in two protesters being shot
Young is currently being held at the Jefferson County jail on four counts of attempted murder and is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Wednesday.
A witness to the shooting told police that the suspect, identified as Young, was carrying an ‘old school wild west gun’ at the protest.
They described how the suspect ‘entered a state of shock’ after he opened fire and appeared ‘horrified at what he did’.
Samuel Young, 23, was arrested Monday on suspicion of attempted homicide after he allegedly shot and wounded two people at a weekend protest in Aurora, Colorado
While a small group of protesters have praised Young for attempting to stop the Jeep driver, police condemned his actions as shockingly irresponsible.
‘It’s the height of somebody doesn’t know how to handle a firearm,’ Glidden said. ‘It’s not the place to pull a gun and randomly shoot it.’
The Black Lives Matter protest that day was held in honor of Elijah McClain, a black man who was stopped by police while walking down an Aurora street in August 2019 after a 911 caller reported him as suspicious.
Police placed him in a chokehold, and paramedics administered 500 milligrams of ketamine, a sedative, to calm him down. He went into cardiac arrest and was later declared brain dead and taken off life support.
One of the officers involved in McClain’s arrest last August was fired earlier this month after receiving photos of three officers mocking and re-enacting the killing, outside the 23-year-old’s memorial.
The Aurora Police Department on July 3 announced Jason Rosenblatt was fired, along with officers Erica Marrero and Kyle Dittrich for their involvement in the October 2019 incident.
A fourth officer, Jaron Jones, who also appeared in the images, resigned days ahead of a pre-disciplinary hearing.
Rosenblatt, who was one of three Aurora cops involved in McClain’s fatal arrest, also appeared in the pictures he received, but was terminated after receiving them in a text message and responding: ‘HaHa’.
Saturday night’s march on I225 was held to bring attention to the death of Elijah McClain, a black man who was stopped by police while walking down an Aurora street in August 2019 after a 911 caller reported him as suspicious
Aurora Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson publicly released the photos for the first time, which showed Jones pretending to put Dittrich in a chokehold while Marrero looks on and laughs.
All three officers were on duty and in uniform at the time.
They were taken two months after McClain, 23, a massage therapist who loved animals and who taught himself to play the guitar and the violin, died after cops held him in a chokehold on August 24.
‘We’re ashamed, we’re sickened and we’re angry,’ Chief Wilson said in a press conference on July 3. ‘While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, it is a crime against humanity and decency.’
‘It shows a lack of morals, values and integrity, and judgment. I can no longer trust to allow them to wear this badge,’ she added.