An Alabama man was arrested Saturday after pulling out a gun at one of the day’s nationwide protests against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
The man, identified as 34-year-old former teacher Shane Ryan Sealy, can be seen on video parading around a noon prayer gathering at a Huntsville, Alabama, gazebo, holding a sign that says, “ICE ICE Baby.” A crowd of roughly 100 protesters had gathered to pray for the children who had been separated from their parents at the border, according to the Washington Post.
As a woman introduced the Episcopal priest to lead the prayer, Sealy shouted off camera, “womp womp.” This, apparently, was inspired by former Trump campaign chief Corey Lewandowski’s appearance on Fox News in June. During a debate over the policy of separating children from their parents at the border, a Democratic strategist mentioned a migrant girl he’d heard of who had Down syndrome and was separated from her mother. Lewandowski interrupted the story with a “womp womp.”
As the priest, Kerry Holder-Joffrion, stepped up to lead the prayer, Sealy continued to shout, “womp womp” and sang the tune to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”
Holder-Joffrion continued on with her prayer as Sealy marched in front of her, trying to drown her out. “We offer your love to all of our children with unrestricted arms,” she said. “We know that you can hear these words above the fray. We ask that our hearts be united with all our brothers and sisters across this continent and world, as we hold the children sacred.”
Sealy didn’t let up. Someone shouted at Sealy to ask him where his ancestors came from. “Alabama,” he shouted back.
As Holder-Joffrion prayed for the nation’s strength and compassion, some protesters stood up to confront Sealy.
According to the Post, police said Sealy pushed a protester, who then pushed Sealy back. Sealy fell to the ground and then allegedly pulled out his gun, which had been tucked into his cargo pants. “Gun, gun, gun,” one man shouted. Many of the assembled demonstrators dropped to the ground, and some were crying. Holder-Joffrion, with eyes shut, continued her prayer.
Sealy placed the gun back into his waistband, according to the video, and walked away. A few protesters followed cautiously, but a grey-haired man in a white polo and khakis sprinted after him in pursuit. Police arrived soon after and took Sealy into custody. According to the Post, Holder-Joffrion went on to deliver a prayer in Spanish.
According to AL.com, Sealy was arrested for possessing a gun within 1,000 feet of a protest and later charged with menacing and reckless endangerment.