Anger and unrest filled Hay Street on Saturday evening as protestors took their message to the streets. Things escalated quickly and turned violent. Some business owners said they had no choice but to stay behind and protect their property.
"The police could have showed up. I was expecting them like, any minute. Now they're going to show up. Okay, now they're going to show up," said Angie Malave, owner of Coffee Cup and Wine Cafe.
Malave said some people used pavers to shatter windows outside her business. Her husband, an Army veteran, stood guard. Protesters joined and shielded the business from further damage.
"They were telling me and my husband don't worry. You're going to be fine," said Malave.
As downtown protests escalated, first responders said they had eyes on it all, including the Market House which had smoke coming from its windows.
"There were many threats coming throughout the city. We had to be fluid. We had to be aware of all details. We can't move on emotions. Have to move on details. I do understand it's emotional for them," said Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins.
"There's no building in this city or any other city that's worth the life of a firefighter. Their job is dangerous as it is. To add the expectation that they work under the durest of an armed and hostile crowd is just unacceptable and we won't apologize for that," said Fayetteville Fire Chief Mike Hill.
Boarded up storefronts in downtown Fayetteville serve as a painful reminder turned positive message of that unforgettable night.
"We saw how ugly that night was. Seeing that just showed how God turned people into protecting us. For that, I'm grateful," said Malave.