Rumors that the National Guard had been called to deal with rioting in Ferguson, Missouri proved false but many clamored for a more serious response as crowds looted stores and engaged in stand offs with police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager on Saturday night.
18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by police multiple times after an apparent struggle with an officer inside a patrol car.
The incident, similar in nature to the 2011 shooting of Mark Duggan, which led to riots across the United Kingdom, sparked chaotic scenes in Ferguson, with stores being looted and set ablaze.
Afterward, an Associated Press reporter saw some people looting a convenience store. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into and looted, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store.
People were seen carrying arm loads of goods such as bags of food and toilet paper. Television footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing on top of police cars or taunting officers, some in riot gear.
Other witnesses reported seeing people vandalise police cars and kick in windows. Television footage showed windows busted out of a TV station van.
According to reports, the disorder escalated into “full scale riots,” with shots being fired at a police helicopter and looters attempting to steal an ATM from a gas station.
With the unrest continuing into the early hours of this morning and SWAT teams arriving, rumors began to fly that the National Guard had been called in, although this soon proved inaccurate.
An unsavory incident involving a possible racially motivated attack also reportedly took place despite the fact that the victim was also taking part in the rioting.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) August 11, 2014
Mayor James Knowles begged the looters to stop, saying they were only harming their own community.
“We’re only hurting ourselves, only hurting our community, hurting our neighbours. There’s nothing productive from this,” he said.
Watch more video footage of the chaotic scenes below.