— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) September 22, 2016
Gov. Pat McCrory said he would deploy the state National Guard and Highway Patrol to Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.
“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,” McCrory told CNN on Wednesday night.
The protests continued to wage out of control.
Onlookers cheered as a masked man shattered a hotel window while another one hurled rocks through it. Others spray-painted “Black Lives Matter” on business windows and smashed car windows.
“I was right in the thick of it,” witness Zach Locke said. “People found whatever objects they could to break glasses. It was madness.”
Some stores were looted, including the Charlotte Hornets’ NBA store, local media reported.
Freelance photographer Marcus DiPaola told CNN he saw some people knock over an ATM and grab money from it.
Ryan James, a first-person witness to the civilian-on-civilian shooting that left one person in critical condition Wednesday night, describes seeing a man unleashing indiscriminate, senseless gunfire into the crowd.
Around 8:30 p.m., a civilian fired a pistol indiscriminately into a crowd of dozens outside the hotel, turned and ran, leaving a man laying on the ground in a pool of blood on the sidewalk. There was a loud pop, then panic and confusion. Standing about 10 yards away, I looked down the barrel of a pistol. Several people were screaming, saying someone was shot in the head and a crowd quickly formed around the victim, a black male. I thought to myself ‘oh my God, why?’ Breathing heavily, I called 911, pacing around in the street. I could be the person on life support. The bullet had whizzed past me. But here I was, still breathing, and reporting this tragic news unfolding in front of me.
He describes the shooter as a black male who ran away about five minutes before emergency crews arrived.
The victim of the shooting was originally reported to be dead. The official Charlotte Twitter account subsequently issued a correction, saying that the victim was in critical condition and on life support.
Wednesday marks the second consecutive night of violent protests in Charlotte following the death of Keith Scott, a black man shot by police. Police say Scott had a gun; a witness said he was holding a book. Video of the shooting has not been made public.
Early reports indicated that the victim had died. Later it was reported that the man is in the hospital and on life support.
Mecklenburg EMS: one person shot in Uptown taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) September 22, 2016
Not all the protests were violent.
Witnesses who attended demonstrations earlier Wednesday evening said they were largely peaceful, but the tone changed markedly throughout the night.
Kristine Slade, 19, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte student, joined the protests Tuesday night, kneeling in front of a police line with her hands up in the air. She said she felt like she had to protest, because “if nobody else is going to do it, then we’re still going to be in the same position.”
But she became increasingly worried Wednesday night as she saw rocks being thrown, fires being set and acts of vandalism.
“It hurts us to see that these buildings are being vandalized and damaged because of the anger and outrage of other citizens when there are clearly other ways to get our point across,” Slade said.