On a warm spring night 20 years ago, West Las Vegas was burning.
A day had passed since the acquittals in California of four white police officers involved in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. The jury's decision touched off rioting that raged for three days in Southern California.
Anger over the acquittals reached a boiling point in West Las Vegas.
The historic black neighborhood turned into a war zone that night as some residents began looting businesses, then setting them on fire. As the night wore on, apartments and a police substation also were torched.
People threw rocks, broke windows, beat bystanders, shot guns in the air and at police. The violence got so intense that firefighters wouldn't enter the area to extinguish the flames.
Though unprepared for a riot, police quickly cordoned off 11 square miles to prevent its spread.
One person was killed and 37 were injured, including a police officer shot in the leg. The fires caused an estimated $6 million in damage. For several days afterward, sporadic violence plagued the area.
Police at one point patrolled streets in armored vehicles borrowed from the Department of Energy.
By the end of the week, 111 people had been arrested in connection with the riots.
The violence prompted an awareness of the problems faced by the economically depressed neighborhood bordered by Carey Avenue on the north, Bonanza Road on the south, Interstate 15 on the east and Rancho Drive on the west.
City, county and federal agencies began investing hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements and construction projects there. Police worked to build better relationships with the community. Government agencies and residents came together in a spirit of peace.
Two decades later, the Review-Journal caught up with four locals who experienced the riots in different ways.