Protesters clashed with police Tuesday after President Donald Trump's campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

The demonstrations remained peaceful for several hours, as the speech ended and Trump supporters began to leave the convention center. Police flew a helicopter overhead and used rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas to manage the crowd of thousands.

The Phoenix Police Department released a statement saying it was a response to "people in the crowd [who] began fighting and throwing rocks and bottles at police." 

Marcos Najera is a freelance journalist and Phoenix native who was covering the rally. He says he didn't see any violence where he was standing, but did see police officers suddenly point their weapons in his direction and begin shooting rubber bullets.

"I could hear popping, and then they were spraying pepper spray, and tear gas and flash grenades. Within under five minutes, people were running — I mean running for cover," Najera says. "It was a horrible feeling. It made us choke, it made us tear up. It was hard to think."

You can listen to more of Najera's experience outside the rally on today's episode of The World in the audio above.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI