Protests outside a Donald Trump’s rally in New Mexico have turned violent as the presumptive Republican nominee is projected to clinch another victory at the Washington state primary.
The protesters on Tuesday night lit fires, smashed a door and threw rocks outside Albuquerque’s convention center with police ushering the demonstrators away from Trump’s event.
The protesters broke a glass door to the convention center and some of them taunted police and jumped on police vehicles.
Many protesters, who were critical of the business mogul’s positions on immigration, were chanting anti-Trump slogans.
Police managed to keep protesters and Trump supporters apart unlike a similar incident in Chicago where violence erupted between his supporters and protesters in March.
Although gunshots were reported at the scene, Albuquerque’s police said that there was “no confirmation” of any shooting.
“There is no confirmation that any gunshots were fired, contrary to reports. Possible damage to Convention Center Windows by pellet gun,” the department tweeted.
Although police said rocks and bottles were thrown at their horses, they did not report any clash with protesters or any arrest of demonstrators.
Police said, however, that “the only arrests at this point have been from inside the rally, as protesters disrupted him sporadically.”
The protesters in the grandstands around the stage where Trump was speaking held banners that read “Undocumented Unafraid” and “We’ve heard enough.” There was also a banner accusing Trump of being a fascist.
Police also rejected the accusation of using tear gas during the protest.
“The smoke that has been seen is not tear gas, it’s just smoke. We have not deployed tear gas at this time,” the police tweeted.
The protests happened as the billionaire businessman entered Tuesday’s contest with 1,169 delegates, just 68 shy of the 1,237 he needs to secure the GOP nomination before the July convention.
With 68 percent of the vote in, Trump had 76 percent support, with the rest divided between former rivals who have suspended their campaigns.