CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 22 (UPI) — North Carolina’s governor declared a state of emergency after at least six people were injured, one critically, in a second night of protests over the police shooting of a black man.
Gov. Pat McCory said he will deploy the National Guard and state troopers to assist local police. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told CNN she is considering a curfew if the violence continues.
At least four police officers and two civilians were injured Wednesday, officials said. One person was being treated for gunshot wounds and is “on life support.”
“We cannot tolerate violence. We cannot tolerate the destruction of property and will not tolerate the attacks against our police officers that is occurring right now,” McCory said.
Protests that started peacefully turned violent after dark when demonstrators attempted to follow police into the lobby of an Omni Hotel. Some protesters broke the windows of businesses and others spray-painted “black lives matter” on walls. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in efforts to disperse the crowds.
Police on Twitter said the shooting was “civilian on civilian” and said Charlotte police did not fire shots.
The Rev. Steve Knight of Missiongathering Christian Church in Charlotte said he saw the victim, “go down on the pavement.”
“It was an ambush,” he said. “The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and we believe he was shot by police. We would like to see surveillance video from the surrounding area that may have captured the shooting to determine who was responsible for the shooting.”
Protests began Tuesday afternoon after police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott, a father of seven, near his apartment as officers were searching for another suspect. Family members said Scott was reading a book in his car when he was shot. Police said Scott was armed and no book was found at the scene.
Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said Scott was shot after he refused to put down a gun.