Tensions flared in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday after police fatally shot a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex, saying he got out of his car armed with a gun as officers approached him.
As darkness fell on Charlotte following the shooting a crowd of protesters gathered near the scene and local WSCOC-TV reported they blocked a road leading to the apartment complex as police in riot gear stood by.
"Demonstrators surrounded our officers who were attempting to leave the scene," the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said on Twitter, adding that a "civil emergency unit" had been deployed to safely remove them.
The fatal shooting came amid an intense ongoing national debate over the use of deadly force by police, especially against young black men.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were at an apartment complex searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant shortly before 4 p.m. when they saw a man get out of his vehicle with a firearm, public affairs officer Keith Trietley said in a written statement.
"Officers observed the subject get back into the vehicle at which time they began to approach the subject. The subject got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject," Trietley said.
The victim, identified by police as 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, was transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he was pronounced dead, according to Trietley.