FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – Late night rioting and looting on Sunday night went beyond the borders of Ferguson. The mayor of Dellwood says eight businesses in his community were hit as well. The Dellwood Market was one of those locations, ransacked and nearly burned down by looters. News11 has obtained surveillance video of the attack on the store as it happened.
It begins with a group of fifteen to twenty people gathered outside, throwing items at the glass windows and doors, trying to break in. When they are unsuccessful, the video shows at least two men moving to the front of the group and opening fire with handguns.
Switching to a camera inside, the crowd manages to push through, and people start pouring inside. A large number of them immediately head behind the counter, grabbing cigarettes and liquor.
This all began just minutes after the owner’s son had closed the store and left at 10pm. Owner Muntaz Lalani had received the call from the alarm company and was able to watch the video live online. He was horrified by what he saw.
“I feel so helpless, you know? I was watching right there. My livelihood is going in flames and stole everything. I couldn’t do anything. I was just sitting and watching. What could I do?”
He called police, but it wasn’t until his store had been stripped of merchandise and a fire set that any help arrived. Lalani says firefighters were the first to arrive.
Dellwood’s mayor, Reggie Jones, says the widespread damage to businesses was the result of a couple of factors. First, the conflict between protestors and police on West Florissant Avenue saw everyone facing off with police pushed into Dellwood.
In addition to that, Jones says there was miscommunication between the county police unit that contracts with Dellwood and the Missouri Highway Patrol. He says he assigned his officers to patrol Dellwood’s neighborhoods. He was under the impression state troopers had businesses covered, but those troopers had apparently responded to what was happening up the street in Ferguson. That left the businesses in Dellwood uncovered.
“It wasn’t really a concern of ours as far as our patrol guys patrolling the businesses because we thought they were being taken care of,” he said.
Outside the store Monday, customers were, for the most part, very upset with what had happened.
“It’s terrible. They trippin.’ They messin’ up the store. Where we gonna shop at,” Myquel Abdullah asked.
Another man, Rodney Warner, said he had come out to help with cleanup. But he had a much different take on the looters. He said he doesn’t condone their actions, but understands them.
“Some people can’t speak,” he said. “Some people don’t know how to speak on the situation. That’s how they speak. They bust the windows, try to burn everything down. That’s how they speakin’ bra.
“I’m pretty sure if y’all would have protested, and nothing would have got burnt down, nothing would have got looted, nothing would have got heard. St. Louis wouldn’t have got this attention. Now they know what’s going on.But the Dellwood Market’s owner says that argument makes little sense.
“That’s what I don’t understand. They want justice for Michael Brown. I don’t see justice in this. Is this justice?