National Guard arrives in Charlotte after State of Emergency issued

Governor declares state of emergency in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Troops from the North Carolina National Guard arrived in Charlotte early Thursday morning. 

Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency to initiate efforts to deploy the North Carolina National Guard after protests turned into violence in uptown Charlotte Wednesday night. 

Protests initially started as peaceful before shots rang out near the Omni and Ritz-Carlton hotels. The person shot is currently in critical condition on life support, two others were hospitalized and four police officers were taken to area hospitals. 

An organized protest began at Marshall Park at 7 p.m., with hundreds of people gathered peacefully with chants of “No justice, no peace” and “black lives matter.” The protests were in response to the police shooting and killing of 43-year-old Keith Scott in northeast Charlotte Tuesday.

By 8 p.m., protesters made their way to CMPD headquarters, where a large group removed an American flag from the front of the building. Just minutes earlier, a CMPD source confirmed to NBC Charlotte that a witness’ photo from the shooting scene showed what investigators are calling the gun Scott had in his possession at the time of his shooting.

About a half-hour later, the situation in uptown became more intense, with protesters throwing tables and chairs from the upper levels of the Epicentre. Moments later, loud bangs rang out as protesters sprinted from the Omni Hotel, telling NBC Charlotte’s Ty Chandler that a person was shot in front of the hotel. 

RELATED: Minute-by-minute of CMPD officer-involved shooting

The shooting was confirmed to have occurred near the Ritz-Carlton to NBC Charlotte’s Michelle Boudin. A hotel employee confirmed that the outside doors of the hotel have been locked and the restaurant BLT Steak is using furniture to barricade windows.

Just after 8:40 p.m., MEDIC confirmed that one person was taken to CMC-Main with life-threatening injuries that were suffered from an apparent gunshot wound. CATS tweeted that streetcar service is discontinued and the Charlotte Transportation Center in uptown has been closed and moved to Carson Street. Light Rail Service will not extend beyond Carson Street. 

In an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney confirmed that the person shot in uptown had died as a result of a gunshot wound. Just before 11 p.m., City of Charlotte officials issued a correction, saying the person who suffered a gunshot wound during the protests is on life support and not deceased.

As police began to drive protesters out of the uptown area, several made their way onto I-277, blocking traffic just before midnight. 

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Officers were seen taking at least two protesters into custody just before 9:30 p.m.

Charlotte City Councilman Kenny Smith (District 6) confirmed that seven CMPD officers were injured during the protests and taken to area hospitals. 

City of Charlotte officials confirmed that the person shot in uptown was shot by a civilian and not anyone affiliated with CMPD. 

Reports of looting were confirmed by Charlotte Hornets officials. The team store located at Time Warner Cable Arena had its windows smashed and property was taken from inside. 

At approximately 10:05 p.m., CMPD issued an order to disperse, saying they would arrest civilians, media included, that remained on the streets of the city. CATS sent out a statement early Thursday, cancelling light rail and bus services until further notice. 

Governor McCrory released a statement saying the State Highway Patrol would be sent to Charlotte to assist local police. 

“I want to assure the people of North Carolina that our SBI has already been assisting the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department throughout the last 24 hours. Upon a very recent request of Chief Putney, the State Highway Patrol is sending in troopers to further help the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. The state has many additional assets nearby to assist. Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated. I support and commend the law enforcement officials for their bravery and courage during this difficult situation.” 

Congressman Robert Pittenger also released a statement, calling violence and looting "counterproductive."

“The facts in the shooting will become evident to all.  In the interim, we need African American Pastors and leaders to rise to this challenge and speak with a sound system to this group of protestors, calling for restraint and to be respectful in their protest.  Martin Luther King would be proud of that kind of thoughtful discourse and leadership.  The violence and looting is counterproductive.”

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper also decried the violence in a statement he released late Wednesday.

Violence will not bring justice. I urge everyone in Charlotte tonight to heed the call for peaceful demonstration.

We must come together as a community to get answers and find a better path forward.

Already tonight we have seen civilians, police and emergency responders injured. This must stop.

I've spoken to Mayor Roberts and have offered her the full assistance of the N.C. Department of Justice.

Please stick with WCNC.com as this story develops.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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