Three people have been shot – one fatally – as gunfire broke out during protests over the police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin, according to US media reports.
It comes on the third straight day of unrest – the New York Times reported, citing a police chief – after Jacob Blake was shot several times in Kenosha on Sunday while trying to break up a fight between two women.
Riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to push back demonstrators on Tuesday night who defied a dawn-to-dusk curfew and gathered outside a court building and adjacent park at the centre of the city.
Most people left the area, but some walked to a nearby petrol station, according to the newspaper, which said the atmosphere became tense as some of those gathered started to argue and shove each other.
Police arrived in armoured trucks and urged the crowd to go home, before shots were fired after midnight.
Three people were hit by the gunfire and one died, the paper reported, quoting Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.
He said the investigation was focused on a group of men with guns outside the petrol station, and that officers were scouring video taken just before the shooting.
Footage posted on social media on Wednesday showed several people rushing towards a man firing at them with a gun.
One person falls to the ground. Several other shots are heard in the background.
LEBANON: ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS IN BEIRUT AFTER MASSIVE BLAST
Days after a devastating blast rocked the port area of Beirut, on Aug. 4, killing over 200 people and injuring more than 6,000 others, the people of the country took to the streets in protest against the political elite, whom they blamed for the explosion. The cause for the explosion was found to be the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored in the port area without any safety measures. The blast hit with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, leaving a giant mushroom cloud looming over Beirut’s sky.
(Pictured) A demonstrator waves the Lebanese flag in front of riot police during a protest in Beirut on Aug. 8.
Another video shared online of the aftermath shows a man with a severe arm wound sitting on the ground while he is tended to by a man holding a gun as police approach.
On Tuesday Mr Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, said her son would be “very unpleased” if he could see the violence that had befallen the city since he was shot.
She added: “I’m really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your heart – citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians – do Jacob justice on this level and examine your heart.
“We need healing. As I pray for my son, healing physically, emotionally and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for healing of our country.”
The incident was captured in a graphic video apparently filmed by a bystander across the street – and protests have since continued to take place in the city, some have erupted into rioting and looting.
The 29-year-old has been left paralysed and “fighting for his life” – sparking angry protests in the city, with more than 30 businesses destroyed on Monday and around 200 protesters clashing with police last night.
Mr Blake’s family is preparing to file a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting.
Police have said little about what happened other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute.