(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — At least two demonstrators and several police officers have been injured after protests erupted following a deadly police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday.
Officers in riot gear deployed tear gas into a crowd of protesters after individuals targeted police cruisers, ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte reported.
Approximately 12 officers injured. One officer hit in face with a rock
— CMPD News (@CMPD) September 21, 2016
Early Tuesday morning the unrest raged on as a group of people blocked traffic on I-85. A live video feed from a WSOC-TV helicopter hovering above the scene appeared to show people removing items from the back of trucks on the highway.
The scene on I-85 appeared to devolve into looting, with people pulling items from tractor-trailers and burning boxes.
A group of people attempted to break in to a Walmart, WSOC-TV reported, and scattered when police arrived at the scene.
— Mark Barber (@MBarberWSOC9) September 21, 2016
The shooting took place Tuesday afternoon after officers arrived at an apartment complex in the city of Charlotte at about 4 p.m., searching for a suspect who had an outstanding warrant, a police statement said.
Police said the man fatally shot, identified as Keith Lamont Scott, was not the suspect officers were searching for, but had exited from a vehicle with a firearm and the officers believed he posed an imminent deadly threat.
Scott’s family quickly challenged the police account of the fatal shooting, saying he was not armed and that he was holding a book and waiting for his son to be dropped off from school, WSOC-TV reports.
Detectives say they recovered the firearm they believe Scott had been holding at the time of the shooting at the scene, WSOC-TV reports.
Charlotte’s mayor, Jennifer Roberts, tweeted that “the community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue,” and asked for calm as investigators worked the case.
— Mayor of Charlotte (@CLTMayor) September 21, 2016
Police identified the officer involved in the shooting Brentley Vinson, who has been employed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since July 21, 2014 and is currently assigned to the Metro Division. Per standard procedure with any officer-involved shooting, Vinson has been placed on paid administrative leave, police said.
As night fell in Charlotte, protesters blocked off a busy road and chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot!”
Both the officer involved in the deadly shooting and the victim are African-American, a police source told WSOC-TV.
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