Authorities in Missouri are searching for the shooter or shooters who shot two police officers during protests in Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday night.
Protests were rekindled by the recent report by the U.S. Justice Department detailing a level of racial bias that has disturbed many across the country. The already simmering tensions in Ferguson threatened to boil over once again with the city police chief’s resignation. Tom Jackson had confounded many in the days after Michael Brown’s shooting by releasing the CCTV video of the alleged strong arm robbery that seemed only an attempt to turn public opinion away from the unarmed teen’s death.
According to reports, hundreds of protesters had gathered on Wednesday night in response to the announcement of the resignation. Police showed up in riot gear, bringing back disturbing visions of some of the worst rioting of last summer. At one point, without warning, shots rang out, and two officers were down. One of the officers was from the nearby Webster Grove force, and he was shot in the face. The other, a 41-year-old from the St. Louis County police department, was shot in the shoulder. The otherwise unidentified officers were reportedly conscious when they were taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital in serious condition.
In this video posted by @missjupiter1957, three shots can be heard, followed by the sound of someone moaning. It is not clear who yells, “Acknowledgement nine months ago would have kept that from happening”, but the context would indicate that it’s somehow related to the shots that were fired:
Authorities are calling this shooting an ‘ambush’, especially as the officers were shot outside of the Ferguson police headquarters. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar believes that the men were shot purely because they were police officers. Belmar told reporters that they have no information on the weapon used or a characterization of the suspect or suspects. Authorities believe that the shots game from near a group of protesters who were across a line from approximately 20 officers. Belmar said that the shots were not fired from an angle. They were fired from a position that was likely parallel to the ground. They know the shots also came from a position either north or northwest of the Ferguson Police Headquarters.
As of this morning, both officers had improved to the point where they could be released. If you have any information about this shooting, please call the St. Louis County Police Department at (314) 889-2341, or the St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers at (866) 371-TIPS (8477).
CBS Morning News brings us this report:
Belmar: ‘Lucky by God’s grace we didn’t lose two officers’ (KMOV)
2 cops shot outside Ferguson police headquarters (CBS News)
Ferguson Shooting: Police Officers Released From the Hospital (ABC News)
Ferguson police shooter on the loose (CNN)