AURORA, Colo. — Mayor Mike Coffman said that "Aurora cannot become a Portland" in a Facebook post on Sunday, after a protest at the Aurora Municipal Center the previous night turned violent.
Coffman said that he received a report that about 600 people attended the protest, and about 150 people stayed behind after it ended.
"Those who remained sought to bait the police into a confrontation and to destroy as much public property as possible," Coffman said in the post.
He said that the individuals who stayed behind were not protesters, but instead using the protest as cover for violent actions.
"I understand that our police department chose to show restraint last night by not using nonlethal munitions but now these individuals smell weakness, my concern is that they will be back again and again until they achieve their goal," Coffman continued.
Coffman said he requested a briefing on Monday from Aurora Police Department (APD) Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson for himself and the Aurora City Council. Coffman said he "will be asking why our courthouse was not adequately protected."
In an earlier post, Coffman said those who caused damage to the municipal center were "domestic terrorists" and not protesters.
Coffman has since deleted that post, and uploaded a new post that removes the mention of terrorism.
The majority of those who participated in demonstrations were peaceful. After protesters gathered about 5 p.m., they marched from the Municipal Center to Interstate 225 and blocked the roadway for a time. A protester shot at a vehicle that drove through the crowd; two people were injured, police said.
About 9 p.m., a group returned to APD headquarters and "decided to hijack the message," according to APD. At that point, police ordered the group to disperse.
A 9NEWS crew saw some people yank on a metal fence near APD headquarters until the fence came down, and then throw objects and shoot fireworks at officers. They also tore down wooden coverings over windows and broke windows on the courthouse.
The group began to leave by 10 p.m., police said. APD said no one was arrested and officers didn't use any less-lethal munitions.
At one point, a fire started inside an office at the courthouse and was extinguished without spreading anywhere else in the building, APD said.
On Sunday morning, a police spokesperson said more than 20 windows on the courthouse were broken and also that numerous light posts in a courtyard area were smashed. The spokesman said it'll take a few days to determine the cost of the damage.
Two protesters were shot and injured by another protester during a march.
While over I-225, Sky9 captured a Jeep barreling down the highway as protesters scrambled to get out of the way.
It did not appear that the vehicle hit anyone, but APD tweeted that a protester fired a weapon at the Jeep and ended up striking at least one other protester. The person who was shot was taken to the hospital and was stable, APD said.
APD said another person showed up to the hospital with a graze wound.
Police said they were "in contact with the vehicle" and had towed it. No arrests had been made. It was not clear where the vehicle was found or whether the driver had been identified.
Police were still looking for the person who fired the weapon.
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