State of emergency declared in North Carolina amid unrest over police shooting

Protester shot during second night of protests against killing of Keith Lamont Scott

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Robbie Miller, centre, cries as she and fellow students at the University of North Carolina Charlotte hold a vigil following Tuesday's police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott | Photo: PA Images

A protester is in a critical condition after being shot during a second night of unrest over the fatal police shooting of a black man in North Carolina.

Officials in Charlotte said the man was shot during a protest over the death of Keith Lamont Scott but was not wounded by a police officer, describing it as a "civilian on civilian" incident.

They earlier said the man had died, but later corrected this, instead saying he was on life support. One police officer has also been injured.

The governor of North Carolina has declared a state of emergency in Charlotte as the unrest continues, and said the National Guard and state highway patrol troopers would be sent to help police.

Charlotte police chief Kerr Putney told Fox News: "We're trying to disperse the crowd. We've been very patient, but now they've become very aggressive, throwing bottles and so forth, at my officers, so it's time for us now to restore order."

Police said Mr Scott, 43, was armed and ignored officers' orders when he was gunned down on Tuesday, but the victim's family and a witness said he was holding a book and not a weapon.

The latest unrest started with a peaceful rally that turned violent after several hundred demonstrators, chanting "black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace", marched through downtown with brief stops at a black church, police headquarters and a large entertainment venue.

As they approached an intersection downtown, protesters confronted a column of police cars and officers lining the road and began to surround groups of police and their vehicles.

A student holds a banner at the university vigil | Photo: PA Images

Rubber bullets

Police then unleashed a volley of rubber bullets, tear gas and flash-bang grenades to disperse the demonstrators, who began throwing fireworks and debris at officers outside a hotel.

The confrontation grew more intense as helmeted police carrying shields moved down a street, pushing back a crowd of demonstrators who hurried for cover as officers fired more tear gas.

People were also seen looting a convenience store after smashing its windows.

Sixteen officers were injured on the first night of unrest, as police in riot gear clashed with demonstrators who threw stones, set fires and briefly blocked an interstate highway.

In the aftermath of the killing, Mr Scott's wife Rakeyia issued a statement describing her family as "devastated" and appealed for calm, adding: "We have more questions than answers about Keith's death."

Authorities have not released any video footage of the incident, but the city's mayor has said they plan to do so and she would watch the footage on Thursday.

The unrest in North Carolina unfolded as demonstrators in Tulsa, Oklahoma, demanded the arrest of a police officer seen in a video fatally shooting an unarmed black man who had his hands in the air.