Protests continued after reports Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson had resigned just a week after the Department of Justice slammed his department in a report and now authorities are indicating that two police officers were shot around 1 a.m. local time (ET) at a dwindling rally outside of the Ferguson Police Department.
The St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar tweeted news of the shooting in which he indicated that one of the injured officers is from St. Louis County and the other from Webster Groves.
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) March 12, 2015
In a tweet issued roughly two hours later, Mr. Belmar indicated that one of the officers that has been shot is a 41-year-old with 14-years on the force and the other is a 32-year-old with 7 years of employment as a law enforcement officer.
Belmar indicated during an early morning press conference that the 32-year-old had been shot in the face and the older veteran law enforcement officer had been struck in the shoulder. While the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, Belmar did describe the wounds as “very serious.”
Witness Ivory Ned, a 24-year-old, was quoted by NBC News in a report as having said that “tensions were running high” prior to the eruption of gunfire and once everyone began to return to standing after dropping low following the eruption of shots, it was apparent who had been hit as two police officers were “still down on the ground”.
I was in Ferguson, across the street from the police department where the protesters were standing […] Police were coming back and forth, pushing us back to the sidewalk. I got down on the ground when the shots were fired. It sounded like it was around 30 feet away, coming from behind me up on the hill.”
I did not want to take any chances because I did not know if the police were shooting or what was going on so I got down on my knees and I hid behind a car. It put everybody in a panic. Police officers were crouched down and they had their guns out. Everybody was in a state of standstill. Once everybody started getting up, you saw two officers still down on the ground so you knew who got shot.
Chief Belmar indicated that both of the officers who he said suffered “very serious gunshot injuries” were being treated at the hospital from which he spoke to the press, Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
He indicated that no suspects have been identified in the shootings, however, he did indicate that at least three shots has been fired.
STL Today quoted the chief as having said that while he didn’t know who was behind the shooting, they were “somehow” embedded within the group of demonstrators rallying outside of the police department.
I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you, but somehow they were embedded in that group of folks
Belmar also indicated that he felt as if the police had been fortunate until recent in the sense that there hadn’t been any patrolling officers injured as a result of the protests which have erupted since the police shot and killed an unarmed man named Michael Brown.
The now deceased Mr. Brown whose death at the hands of law enforcement sparked massive controversy across the United States was shot a total of six times, including two shots which entered his head, according to an autopsy report.
What are your thoughts on the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri?