EUGENE, Ore.-- The Eugene Police Department reports that seven adults and one juvenile were arrested after a tense protest irrupted into a riot overnight Sunday.
According to officials, over 300 Black Lives Matter protesters and counterprotesters attended a planned demonstration at the Federal courthouse starting at 8 p.m. Saturday.
KEZI 9 News reporters witnessed rising tensions amongst the groups, nearly becoming physical in several instances.
According to police, a man who fired a handgun into the air amongst the crowd was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon. The man discarded the gun before leaving the protest. He was arrested away from the crowd.
Officials said that just before 10 p.m., counterprotesters dispersed while around 200 protesters marched on the streets toward downtown. They say some demonstrators went to the Lane County jail and threw fireworks and smoke bombs.
By 10:45 p.m., police said a group formed at 8th Avenue and Charnelton Street where some demonstrators began vandalizing buildings and removing signs. The group then moved to Willamette Street and Broadway where some demonstrators broke windows and tagged the Wells Fargo Bank.
According to officials, windows were also broken at Elkhorn Brewing and Whole Foods.
The group then went down 7th Avenue westbound as police warned demonstrators to disperse, officials said. Pepperballs and tear gas were used by law enforcement.
Some of the group did not disperse and continued to gather past midnight, according to police. They reported some demonstrators throwing rocks, attempting to drag newspaper boxes into the road and launching fireworks.
Officials said that the names and charges of those arrested will be released at a later time.