Police officer shot in troubled US city of Ferguson
Police chief does not believe shooting linked to ongoing protests over killing of Michael Brown
Protesters gather near the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, last night, following clashes between police and demonstrators on Thursday. Photograph: Reuters
The parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden (left) and Michael Brown, Sr (right) appear at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. last week. Photograph: Reuters
A police officer from the strife-hit Missouri city of Ferguson was shot last night and authorities are still searching for the shooter, law enforcement officials said.
St Louis County Police chief Jon Belmar told reporters the shooting did not seem connected to peaceful protests occurring elsewhere in Ferguson.
“I wouldn’t have any reason to believe right now that it was linked in any way, shape, manner or form with the protests,” he said.
The officer, who was treated at a local hospital, returned fire but apparently did not hit the suspect, Mr Schellman said. The shooter disappeared into a nearby wooded area, eluding arrest.
Police said earlier that there were two suspects, but detectives later determined there was only one, Mr Schellman said.
Several hours later, an off-duty St Louis City police officer was shot at and suffered a minor arm injury from broken glass while driving on a nearby freeway in a personal car, police said.
It was not immediately clear if the two shootings were related.
The St Louis suburb of Ferguson has seen weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations following the death of black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th.
A crowd of about 100 people gathered near the scene of the night’s first shooting, with a group breaking off to protest at Ferguson police headquarters, according to Kareem Jackson (27) a musician who goes by the stage name Tef Poe and is a member of the activist group HandsUp United.
“People are peaceful as a duck, just literally standing on the side of the street watching,” he said in a phone interview from the site where protesters had gathered.
On Thursday, Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson issued a video apology to Brown’s parents following weeks of heavy criticism and calls for his ouster.
The apology was not well-received among some and led to reported protests hours after it was issued.
Many in Ferguson, a mostly black community of 21,000, have called for Jackson to be fired for what they saw as a heavy-handed response in the aftermath of the killing.