On July 17, 1791, a crowd of Parisians gathered at the Champ de Mars, in the western part of the city, for the third time in as many days to make clear to the National Assembly their position on the question of the king's constitutional standing. They carried with them a petition that demanded, in unequivocal terms, the suspension of the king, pending his trial on charges of betraying the French nation and the Revolution. According to the testimony of several witnesses, the day began on a tumultuous note when two men were found hiding in some bushes. Members of the crowd attacked the two men and killed them. Condemned as spies by the crowd, they were defended as innocent bystanders by the National Assembly. As soon as the Assembly heard about the killings, they dispatched the National Guard, under the command of General Lafayette, to disperse the petitioners and restore order. When the troops arrived at the Champ de Mars, a number of those present threw stones at them. The tense troops reacted by firing on the crowd, and Bailly, the mayor of Paris, took the opportunity to declare martial law in an attempt to restore order in an increasingly volatile city.