By Anica Padilla

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — Aurora police said demonstrators pushed down a fence, threw fireworks and other objects at officers, and broke windows and started a fire inside the courthouse Saturday night. The protests are part of an effort to seek justice for Elijah McClain, who died after an altercation with Aurora police nearly one year ago.

(credit: CBS)

“This has been declared an unlawful protest,” police tweeted.

“[Protesters] are now throwing objects, shining lasers, and shooting large fireworks at officers,” police tweeted at 8:45 p.m. “Everyone needs to leave the area immediately. If you remain, you are subject to arrest.”

Police said protesters tore down the wood covering windows and used the wood as “shields.” They broke windows to get inside and started at least one fire.

(credit: Aurora Police)

“There has been a fire started inside of an office in the courthouse,” police tweeted at 8:50 p.m. “Protestors need to leave the area immediately.”

Just after 9 p.m., police announced the fire has been extinguished.

“It does not appear to have spread anywhere else inside of the building. Protestors needs (sic) to leave the area or are subject to arrest. You can safely exit the area to the south.

More than 20 windows at the courthouse were broken.

(credit: Aurora Police)

Police say most of the vandals who broke into the courthouse were wearing masks and one of the security cameras was covered with a plastic bag, making it difficult to identify the people involved.

Investigators want to talk to any witnesses to the vandalism and damage that happened on Saturday night.

Just before 10 p.m. protesters moved away from the Aurora Municipal Center and blocked Alameda Parkway. Police tweeted that drivers need to avoid the area.

Earlier in the evening, protesters marched on Interstate 225, and at least one person was shot as a vehicle drove through the crowd blocking the highway.

(credit: CBS)

“While the protestors were walking on I-225, a vehicle decided to drive through the crowd. A protestor decided to fire off a weapon, striking at least 1 other protestor. They were transported to the hospital in stable condition,” APD tweeted.

RELATED: Jeep Races Through Protesters On I-225 In Aurora, 2 Shot When Protester Fires Gun

“Someone else showed up to the hospital with a graze wound,” APD tweeted. “The vehicle was towed and we are investigating that incident. Any witnesses to the shooting are urged to call @CrimeStoppersCO.”

(credit: CBS)

The suspect vehicle is described as a blue Jeep. Copter4 captured the video of the Jeep speeding through the protest as people scattered and tried to get out of the way.

(credit: CBS)

A short time later, Copter4 flew over as police had pulled over what seems to be a vehicle matching the same one that sped through the protest on I-225.

(credit: CBS)

Police contacted the driver of the Jeep shortly after the incident on I-225. The Jeep was impounded but the driver has not been arrested.

Investigators are still looking for the person who fired shots, hitting two protesters. They are asking for the public’s help to identify the gunman.

Both of the injured protesters remained in the hospital on Sunday morning, in stable condition, with non-life threatening injuries.

Anica Padilla

Comments (4)
  1. Lacy Scott says:

    blocking highways is not protesting, it is akin to kidnapping by preventing a person from leaving the area, at the least it is unlawful detention! How can anyone blame the driver of the jeep from being fearful and taking steps to disengage from this riot. Certainly the rioters can not expect others to have sympathy for their cause.

  2. Jeanne A Hedman says:

    After watching last night’s Aurora protests, I started thinking. If we defund/abolish police, there is no law enforcement. So, following that logic, no need for stop signs, speed limits, or any regulation. No one to enforce laws. If no enforcement, then no laws. Follow that to its conclusion. Rape, Murder, Pillage, Steal, Hit your neighbor with a bat, smuggle, steal, loot, embezzle, abuse your spouse, abuse your child, kill each other on the roads. It’s okay. No consequences with no enforcement. We don’t even need politicians, courts or judges, since laws cannot be made if they can’t be enforced. Is that what even “peaceful protesters” want?

  3. Mary says:

    I can understand the protests and even believe that peaceful protests can make a point and even a difference – but cannot understand the vandalism and sincerely hope that those involved in that are caught, arrested, and convicted.

  4. Frank says:

    As someone who has been a law-abiding citizen for 61 years, I am wondering if I and other normal Americans are just suckers. Apparently violence and intimidation are how you get your way in this country these days. If I blocked I-225 I would almost certainly be arrested. But these so-called “peaceful protestors” are allowed to do it over and over. And if I sprayed graffiti all over, broke windows, and started fires, I would certainly be arrested. But once again, these “peaceful protestors” (as the Leftist media continually describes them) are allowed free reign.

    Perhaps it is time that those of us who pay the taxes and do the work that keep this country running start adopting the same tactics as these Antifa thugs who seem to always get their way.

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