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George Floyd protests in Tampa turn violent; several stores looted, gas station set on fire

University Mall Tear Gas.gif
Mobil Gas Station Fire Busch Blvd.gif
Posted at 9:24 PM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 10:55:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A peaceful day of protesting the death of George Floyd turned violent in the Tampa Bay area Saturday night.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets Saturday evening as roadways were blocked, several stores looted and some even set on fire.

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This comes after the death of George Floyd. Floyd was a 46-year-old man who died Monday night after Derek Chauvin, a now-fired Minneapolis police officer who was charged with third-degree murder on Friday, knelt on his neck for several minutes, despite pleas from Floyd and bystanders.


Sunday, May 31

1:04 AM | Second HCSO deputy injured at University Mall.


12:49 AM | Champs Sports store set on fire as chaos and looting continues in the streets of Tampa near University Mall.


12:21 AM | Chaos and looting continues in the streets of Tampa near University Mall.


Saturday, May 30

11:35 PM | Hillsborough County deputy rushed to hospital after being hit in head with object at University Mall by protester


11:20 PM |Protests for George Floyd in Tampa turn violent in the University Mall area.

Protests turn violent at University Mall in Tampa


11:10 PM | Three protesters arrested, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said, in a press release, that they arrested three protesters thus far at the University Mall. One person was found to have a gun.

“While we support everyone’s right to assemble, rioting, looting and vandalizing is unacceptable. We will be on the streets as long as needed in order to keep the protesters and those around them safe, however, we are asking that everyone respect their fellow citizens and the property of others. Anything less is unacceptable.”


11:10 PM | Several people are seen breaking into the K & G Fashion Superstore in the University Mall area.

Protesters break into K & G Fashion Superstore


11:09 PM | TPD makes multiple arrests.
Multiple arrests made in connection to looting and vandalism along Busch Boulevard, according to the Tampa Police Department.

"A number of those who used the protest as an opportunity to commit criminal acts were arrested for looting businesses including the CVS, AT&T, and Cricket stores," TPD said in a release. "Even under the attack of rocks, bottles, and fireworks being thrown at them, Tampa Police officers remained on scene to ensure the safety of those who wished to protest peacefully and worked to apprehend those with criminal intent."

No officers or peaceful protesters have been injured.


11 PM | A fire was ignited by protesters in the area of University Mall in Tampa.

Protesters begin fire in the area of University Mall


10:10 PM | Deputies deployed canisters of gas in an effort to prevent protesters from getting into the University Mall, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Tear gas deployed from law enforcement as protest in Tampa turns violent


10:10 PM | Reporter Michael Paluska was outside University Mall where deputies deployed canisters of gas.


10 PM | Officials were outside of the Walmart on Fletcher Ave. after a large protest dispersed.

Walmart in Tampa looted by protesters


9:33 PM | Reporter Michael Paluska was outside the University Mall where approximately 300 protesters gathered.


8:40 PM | The Mobil gas station convenience store on 3003 East Busch Boulevard in Tampa was set on fire. Firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control inside the store and on the roof by 9 p.m. and prevent it from reaching the gas pumps.

Gas station set on fire amid protests in Tampa


8:40 PM | The Gold N Diamonds store on E Fowler Avenue was looted by protesters.

Looters break into Gold N Diamonds store into Tampa


8:40 PM | Protesters were seen breaking into and looting an AT&T store near Busch Gardens.

Looters break into AT&T store in Tampa