ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A local protester hit by a car on Juneteenth spoke exclusively to CBS46’s Melissa Stern. 

Justin Myers and some friends were at a peaceful march at Monroe Drive and Ponce de Leon celebrating Juneteenth.

“The guy that you saw in the video, a part of the video that you didn’t see, but is out there, is that he was brandishing a firearm, just kind of, not necessarily aiming, but being threatening with it, but he aggravated, mad, and angry,” Myers said.

Just before 8 pm, 31-year-old Alexander Fawaz called police. His attorney, Titus Nichols, says he was shot at.

“I also saw another individual who was armed with his hand on his gun, continuously inching closer and closer to my client’s vehicle, at that time my client accelerated and left the scene, and that other individual opened fire on my client,” said Nichols.

“He started trying to maneuver through traffic and maneuver around the protest, and we were blocking the street as a peaceful demonstration for those who have died and also for Juneteenth,” added Myers, "We’re marching and protesting because we have to, things haven’t changed, our ancestors did this, like I said already, we would much rather be at the pool, at Six Flags, at the beach."

Fawaz told police he felt threatened by protesters, some of whom were armed, so he got a rifle from his trunk.

“Looking at the various videos I’ve seen, my client never aimed his weapon at any person, in fact, he never pointed his weapon at another person,” Nichols added, “He was trying to get away.”

Fawaz told police he was surrounded by people blocking his path and while he was stopped, he heard gunshots shots being fired and accelerated past the protesters.

Investigators said this is still under investigation, but Myers said Fawaz is not the victim.

“He tried to hit me with his car, accelerating, not breaking, I’m pretty sure that’s attempted something,” added Myers.

A protester with a handgun, identified as 59-year-old John Hammond, was cited for disorderly conduct and released on a citation but investigators don’t believe he’s responsible for the shooting. 

Myers said he’s lucky he wasn’t injured worse or killed.

“My arm is the only thing that I got a nick on, by the grace of god and by luck,” Myers said, “It was a scary moment.”

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(3) comments

Dan S.

I clearly heard a black woman shout, "That's a white man. Get his a**"!"

I hope the Atlanta Police Department and the Justice Dept. are investigating this as a violation of the driver's civil rights.

docarter

They were antagonizing the driver and intentionally blocking the street.

Have you ever heard of false arrest, or holding someone against their will? Your rights end where somebody else's begin.

A

If you want to avoid being hit by a car, stay out of the street. Streets are for vehicles, sidewalks are for pedestrians. No one would begrudge protesters on the side of the road. But when protesters block free movement on roadways, it moves from peaceful to hostile.

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