Around 1:30 in the morning last night, in front of the shuttered Celebrity Restaurant and a quarter mile from where Michael Brown was killed by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday, shots rang out. It was dark — a three-quarter moon above, scant street light — and people began to disperse. They walked toward the main drag, West Florissant Ave. Surprisingly calm, some walked right, some walked left. Some ran into the street. A man wearing all black yelled, "Someone got shot, time to go home!" at least twice. And it seemed like they were going to.

This was one night, however, when such a thing seemed like it wouldn’t happen so quickly. This was one night after two reporters made national headlines when police arrested them in a nearby McDonald’s for unstated reasons. This was one night after Al Jazeera was publicly gassed and had their cameras disassembled by police. And this was just five days after a 18-year-old Michael Brown had been shot by police, sparking a wave of ongoing protests. Tonight, hundreds of people — the numbers were unclear — had been out on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri since at least 4PM, protesting Brown’s death. But when someone was allegedly shot outside the Celebrity, there was a change in mood. A car sped off (witnesses said it was headed to the hospital; St. Louis County Police public information officer Brian Schellman was not available to confirm or deny the witness reports). And people did start to go home. An hour later, the streets were all but clear. Road barriers had been set up. The honking cars and chanting protesters of hours ago were all but gone.

"This was our success," said Malik Z. Shabazz, an organizer for the protests this week as well as a lawyer and leader of the Black Lawyers For Justice. "We have to police ourselves. We have to discipline ourselves."

And last night, that’s exactly what they did.