Twelve police officers were injured late Tuesday night as violent protests and looting broke out following a police shooting of an African-American man in the University City area. At least seven of the officers were hospitalized, reports the Charlotte Observer. At one point, rocks, bottles and traffic cones thrown from overpasses rained down on Interstate 85, a main highway through the city. A number of vehicles were damaged, and several big-rig trucks were looted. A Walmart also was looted. Some vehicles were stuck on I-85 for hours. The highway was open but littered with rocks and glass at dawn Wednesday.
The rioting began after Officer Brentley Vinson fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in an apartment complex parking lot. Police said they had been searching for someone with an outstanding warrant when they saw Scott leave his car holding a gun. Officers approached Scott after he got back into the car. He emerged from the car again armed with a firearm “and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers, who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject,” police said in a statement. Police said Officer Vinson also was African-American. Mayor Jennifer Roberts tweeted a plea for calm.