TAMPA, Fla. — A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy was sent to the hospital after being hit the head at University Mall, the agency said in a tweet. Now, the sheriff's office confirms a second deputy was struck by a firework and burned on his arm.
He was also taken to the hospital.
A crowd there has attempted to get inside the building late Saturday into the overnight hours. The sheriff's office reports about 300 people protested in the mall's parking lot.
Some people, the agency said, broke the building's glass doors to get inside to try and loot. Sheriff's office deputies deployed gas canisters in an attempt to keep people away.
On Twitter, Sheriff Chad Chonister said anyone at University Mall needed to disburse immediately.
"While we support everyone’s right to assemble, rioting, looting and vandalizing is unacceptable," Sheriff Chonister said in a news release. "We will be on the streets as long as needed in order to keep the protestors and those around them safe, however, we are asking that everyone respect their fellow citizens and the property of others.
"Anything less is unacceptable."
Three people have been arrested, the release states. One person had a gun, it adds.
Earlier in the evening, groups of people smashed windows and set fire to a gas station on E. Fowler Avenue. It followed earlier peaceful protests in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.
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