KIRKLAND, Wash. -- After watching looting in many local cities, some business owners are taking protection into their owns hands.
In downtown Kirkland, several people showed up with rifles, saying they were ready to send a message to potential looters.
About half of all businesses in downtown Kirkland boarded up. Many removed valuables from inside their stores.
Business owners and others heard anarchists from the far-left group Antifa planned a to show up and target Kirkland businesses.
Jed Darland was one of those with a rifle slung over his shoulder. He said he saw the looting in Bellevue and wasn't going to let it happen in Kirkland.
When asked about the rifle escalating any potential violence, he said, "Only someone who doesn’t understand guns would say that. The is deescalating the situation. If I had a name for this gun, it would be the 'de-escalator.'"
"It feels like a war zone, and it’s so sad. It just breaks my heart because it’s so messed up,” said Stacy Jones, owner of Sotheby's International Realty. "Huge mixed emotions of where this goes. Violence doesn’t equal positive change.”
More than 100 protesters did show up. They didn't appear to be from Antifa and everything remained peaceful.
They lay on their bellies, chanting "I can't breathe." Then later, many took a knee and chanted, "kneel with us."
Kirkland police officers did just that, creating a moment of unity.