GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Greensboro officers responding to a block party on Tuesday thought they would find about 10 people, but they found more than 100 times that number, Interim Greensboro Police Chief Teresa Biffle said.

Biffle referenced the incident during a Wednesday news conference about a separate shooting that happened less than 24 hours later at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at a Greensboro apartment complex on Circle Drive. The Circle Drive shooting left two people dead and four injured.

Officers were responding to the large “block party” at 12:42 a.m. at the Province Apartments on Houston Street when partygoers reportedly threw large rocks at police property. Police used pepper spray and tear gas to break up the crowd.

“The gathering that we had two nights ago, it was reported 10 people, and it ended up being well over 1,000, so please don’t hesitate to call,” Biffle said.

She encourages anyone who sees a gathering getting “out of hand” to contact law enforcement.

“We would rather know about something than have to show and use additional resources when something gets out of control,” Biffle said.

When officers arrived at the Houston Street scene, they saw a large crowd standing in the roadways of Fulton Street and Houston Street and overcrowded apartments.

Around one year ago, the GPD responded to two similar incidents on Clifton Road where large parties overcrowded upper-level apartments causing structural damage and portions of the buildings to collapse with people inside. Callers noted the same concern when calling Guilford Metro 911 during Tuesday’s incident.

Additional resources were requested from all Greensboro patrol districts, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and any other law enforcement agency that could help move the large crowd. 

Soon after assisting units arrived, people threw bottles and large rocks at officers and their vehicles. 

  • Pepper spray, tear gas used to break up party in Greensboro after large rocks thrown at police vehicles, officers say (Greensboro Police Department)
  • Pepper spray, tear gas used to break up party in Greensboro after large rocks thrown at police vehicles, officers say (Greensboro Police Department)
  • Pepper spray, tear gas used to break up party in Greensboro after large rocks thrown at police vehicles, officers say (Greensboro Police Department)
  • Pepper spray, tear gas used to break up party in Greensboro after large rocks thrown at police vehicles, officers say (Greensboro Police Department)

Officers then used a pepper fogger spray, which is a larger handheld version of their personal pepper spray designed for use with multiple people, and a canister of CS gas, commonly known as tear gas.

The crowd broke up, and no injuries were reported. No arrests have been made.

The investigation is ongoing. 

The GPD’s Professional Standards Division will conduct an internal investigation to determine whether GPD policies were followed regarding the use of force.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers at (336) 373-1000.  Residents can also download the mobile P3tips app for Apple or Android phones to submit a mobile tip, or go to P3tips.org to submit a web tip.  All tips to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous.