Students react to tear gas

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - What a difference a day makes. Saturday night fans were less than happy about the tear gas and rubber bullets used to control the crowds. A day later - cooler heads have prevailed.

It looked like a scene out of a movie. Fans starting fires in the street, police helicopters circling up above, and riot police marching through VCU's campus trying to control thousands of fans venting their frustration about the Rams' loss in the Final Four.

Dre Johnson was one of the students out in the street Saturday night. He says one of his windows was broken in his apartment, but the damage could have been worse if police hadn't taken control.

"If they didn't do that it'd be more hectic, more crazy," he said. "People were going to get hurt, you know?"

Mariah Pabst sees it a little differently. She admits fans were out of line but her issue is the tear gas. Police fired several tear gas canisters into the crowds.

"I don't think as much as they did was necessary," she said. "People were starting to settle down and they just kept pushing them back and pushing them back all the way down here and kept throwing tear gas no matter what."

So was the extra manpower needed?

We stopped back on campus today and there are few signs anything happened Saturday night. A broken window at the AT&T store off Broad Street is one of few wounds leftover.

"I can understand where they're coming from," said Atticus Deavers. "Some people were out of control. I wasn't one of them, but I heard about people throwing bricks at police and that's really just bad and those people need to get arrested if they're going to be doing that."

Others see the tear gas more as a badge of honor.

"It was fun though," said Nancy Milad. "I've never been hit with tear gas. Honestly it was fun, I could honestly go for round two tonight. I'll take tear gas for VCU any day."

Six people were arrested during the riots. Richmond Police worked with both State and VCU Police to help maintain order downtown.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.