Man waves gun, shouts ‘womp womp’ at immigration protest
A man was arrested after heckling speakers and waving a handgun at a “Families Belong Together” immigration rally at a Huntsville, Alabama park, police said.
Shane Ryan Sealy, 34, pulled out a handgun and waved it around Saturday after being pushed to the ground by one of the rally’s organizers, Huntsville Police Lt. Michael Johnson told CNN.
Before the shoving match, Sealy shouted “womp womp” as a local pastor spoke from a gazebo at Huntsville’s Big Spring Park, according to videos of the incident authenticated by Johnson. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, Johnson said.
The rally was one of many held around the country Saturday to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which have separated migrant children from their parents at the US southern border.
James Robinson, who shot video of the scuffle, told CNN that Sealy was walking back and forth yelling. Robinson said that Sealy appeared to be “like any other person in the crowd” at first until his shouting escalated into the shoving match.
“I thought, ‘Oh no, that’s not what you do,'” Robinson said. “I didn’t know he had a gun at that point.”
There was heavy police presence around the perimeter of the park during the rally and officers converged on the suspect within seconds, he said.
“We’ve never had a problem from this community,” said Robinson, who is from Huntsville and has been active in LGBTQ groups for years. He told CNN that despite attending several demonstrations in the area over the years, he’d ever before seen any problems.
Sealy, who is also from the Huntsville area, was charged with menacing and reckless endangerment. He was released from Madison County Jail Saturday night, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Sealy didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. He is a former teacher at an area high school, according to Huntsville City Schools spokesperson Keith Ward.
Sealy’s comment, “womp womp,” is usually made as a lighthearted — and at times dismissive — reaction to someone else’s disappointing news. It’s the same comment former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski made in June in response to a claim that a 10-year-old girl wih Down syndrome had been taken from her mother as part of the Trump administration’s “no tolerance” immigration policy.
One of the rally’s organizers, Heather Resendez, told CNN affiliate WAFF that Sealy reportedly threatened to “shoot everybody there.”
Information was not available about any possible criminal history for Sealy. “He’s not known to us,” said Johnson, the police lieutenant.