A 19-year-old man was killed and another person was critically injured in a pre-dawn shooting in a park in Seattle’s protest zone, authorities have said.

The shooting happened at about 2.30am local time in the area near the city centre known as CHOP, which stands for Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, police said.

Officers who responded to the shooting initially had trouble getting to the victims because they were “met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims”, police said.

Two males with gunshot wounds arrived in a private vehicle at Harbourview Medical Centre at about 3am, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

The 19-year-old man died and the other person is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.

The suspect or suspects fled and police had no description of the gunman or gunmen, officers said.

“Homicide detectives responded and are conducting a thorough investigation, despite the challenges presented by the circumstances,” police said.

Investigators were reviewing public-source video and body-camera video for clues, Seattle police sergeant Lauren Truscott told The Seattle Times.

Protesters have cordoned off several streets near a police station in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood in the wake of demonstrations against police violence since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis several weeks ago.

Police have largely retreated from the zone after clashes with protesters ended with people throwing things at officers and police tear gassing people and using other crowd control munitions.

City officials have said they are still communicating with protest leaders, who had pledged to keep the peace in the zone.

The situation has drawn the continued ire of President Donald Trump.

His tweets about possibly sending in the military have been met with condemnation from Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan and governor Jay Inslee, both Democrats.

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