Rioting and looting erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, late on Sunday as protests over the killing of a black teenager by a police officer turned violent, law enforcement officials and media reports said.

Crowds broke the windows of cars and stores following a day of demonstrations over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old shot dead on Saturday by a Ferguson police officer.

Police Shooting Missouri

Some local business owners in Ferguson, Mo., reported significant damage to their stores and ongoing theft and looting. (David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press)

"We are currently experiencing a riot," a Ferguson police dispatcher said.

About 150 officers in riot gear from throughout St. Louis County, along with canine units, were sent to the area, a dispatcher for the St. Louis County Police Department said.

There was no immediate word on injuries.

Struggle over officer's gun

Police said Brown was shot after a struggle over a gun in a police car. It was not immediately clear why Brown was in the car. At least one shot was fired during the struggle, and then the officer fired more shots before leaving the car.

Missouri police shooting

Many of the thousands who gathered to remember the 18-year-old expressed outrage that his body was left in the street for four hours before being removed by police. (J.B. Forbes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press)

The officer, who was not identified, is a six-year veteran and has been put on administrative leave, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told a news conference.

"It is our understanding at this point in the investigation, that within the police car, there was a struggle over the officer's weapon," Belmar said.

Protests erupted soon after the shooting in Ferguson, a town of about 23,000 people some 20 miles (32 km) north of St. Louis. Some demonstrators shouted "kill the police."

'He didn't bother nobody'

Sunday's protests turned violent after dark, according to news station KMOV-TV, with rioters smashing the window of a store and damaging cars. The crowd broke the windows of a news truck, the station said.

A teenage girl told KMOV that a QuikTrip convenience store was being looted. Asked what looters were taking, she said, "Everything. They destroyed everything."

Police Shooting Missouri

A police dispatcher in Ferguson, Mo., said more than 100 officers were responding to reports of looting and vandalism following a peaceful daytime vigil for Michael Brown. (Robert Cohen. St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press)

Brown's mother told local TV broadcaster KSDK that her son was a "good child getting ready to go to college" and that he was visiting his grandmother when the incident took place.

"He didn't bother nobody," she said. "They told me how many times my son was shot – eight," she added.

The St. Louis County branch of the civil rights group NAACP has said it wants the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into the case, with many in the community telling media that race played a factor in the shooting.

The police did not give any details about the officer's race.