In the video, the crack of a crowd-control projectile is followed by heavy smoke. People scream and run toward the smoke, converging near the ground over the body of a young man.
Another crack is heard and more smoke billows. Out of that plume, a crowd emerges carrying the man who appears bleeding and unresponsive.
The injured man has been identified as former Marine Cpl. Scott Olsen, who deployed twice to Iraq with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines based out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Olsen, who was a tactical communications Marine, got out of the Corps last year and landed a job in San Francisco as a systems administrator with the help of his friend and roommate, Keith Shannon, who was also a Marine.
Olsen was listed in stable but critical condition and it wasn’t known yet whether surgery would be performed.
“He has a two-inch skull fracture and swelling of the brain. When I saw him he was conscious but could only answer yes or no questions,” said Shannon, who was reached by phone at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, Calif., not far from the clash that took place Tuesday night between city police and members of the “Occupy Oakland” demonstration.
The news of Olsen’s injury and the fact that he was a former Marine was outlined in a press release from Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW, whose Bay Area chapter president, Dottie Guy, said Olsen was involved in the Occupy San Francisco movement.
When a call circulated for more protesters for the Oakland event, Olsen went there to participate. The group of demonstrators had been using a city plaza for its occupation for two weeks until police kicked them out on Tuesday.
Though Shannon was not there Tuesday night and did not see the clash, he said witnesses at the scene claim it was a “police projectile” which struck Olsen in the head. The Oakland Police Department has not yet responded to a request for information.