LONDON — Police were in a tense standoff with protesters who burned two patrol cars, set a bus and shops ablaze and looted stores in the gritty north London neighborhood of Tottenham, British media reported early Sunday.
The incidents began Saturday night after an initially peaceful protest over the Thursday fatal shooting of Mark
Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was killed after an apparent exchange of fire with officers.
The protesting crowd swelled to more than 300 outside a police station on High Road and violence erupted, the BBC said. A member of Parliament appealed for calm, but officers on horseback and others in riot gear clashed with hundreds of rioters armed with makeshift missiles.
No officers were inside the two patrol cars set upon by the crowd, officials said.
Later, police told NBC News that one officer was hospitalized in seven others were injured in the rioting.
Firefighters initially could not reach a blazing shop blocked by the disorder. A woman who lives above the shop told British TV she was trapped with her baby by the blaze and mayhem. Several buildings were later seen on fire and police tried to clear paths for firefighters.
A post office and supermarket were among the losses, according to media reports.
Stores in the area were looted and people were seen pushing carts full of stolen goods, the Telegraph of London reported. Some of the rioters were said to look as young as 7 to 10 years old. They were fleeing with looted TVs and stereos, the Guardian said.
Hundreds of residents gathered to watch the unrest and there several were reports of attacks on bystanders, the Guardian said. Rioters were seen beating up a man attempting to film the scene.
Hails of bottles and bricks were intermittently thrown at police from side streets as reinforcements arrived, the Guardian said. Four firework rockets were shot at a line of police horses, prompting a charge and a nearby crowd to disperse in panic.
The BBC reported that its TV news crew and satellite truck also came under attack from youths throwing missiles. Sky News also said it was forced to withdraw camera crews from the area as the situation became increasingly volatile early Sunday.
Earlier Saturday, around 120 people marched from the Broadwater Farm area to the police station, the Telegraph said.
Vanessa Robinson told the BBC said she had joined the original protest outside the police station and it had begun peacefully.
She said the situation turned into "absolute chaos."
Maria Robinson, who lives in Tottenham, described the situation as "absolutely manic".
She said people were throwing bottles, making bottle bombs, setting fires and shops had been broken into.
Another resident, David Akinsanya, 46, said several shop windows had been smashed.
"It's really bad," he said. "There are two police cars on fire. I'm feeling unsafe. It looks like it's going to get very tasty. I saw a guy getting attacked."
He added: "There was a police line of about 15 riot police sort of in front of the police station on the north side and then there were loads of uniformed officers on the south side of the police station.
"They weren't making any effort to go into the crowd. Every now and again they would rush the crowd and the crowd would run.
"But there seems to be a lot of anger in Tottenham tonight... as I left they were starting to attack the police station."Obviously they've got the toughened glass so the missiles weren't going through."
Duggan had been shot in an exchange of fire after the police's Trident operational command unit, which deals with gun crime in the black community, stopped the minicab he was traveling in, the Guardian said. A police officer was said to have escaped injury in the shoot out when a bullet lodged in his radio.
Parliament member David Lammy said on his website: "We already have one grieving family in our community and further violence will not heal that pain," Sky News reported. "True justice can only follow a thorough investigation of the facts."The Tottenham community and Mark Duggan's family and friends need to understand what happened on Thursday evening when Mark lost his life. To understand those facts, we must have calm."
msnbc.com staff and news service reports