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Two Ferguson Police Officers Shot During Protest Were Seriously Injured, Officials Say

March 12, 2015 in Blogs

By Jon Swaine, The Guardian

Ferguson police chief says the two officers – one shot in the face and the other in the shoulder – were targeted as they stood outside police HQ.

Two police officers have been shot in Ferguson, Missouri, as a small demonstration wound down in the city gripped by unrest since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old last year.

One officer from St Louis County and another from Webster Groves were struck soon after midnight on Wednesday as they stood outside the Ferguson police headquarters, St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said at a press conference early on Thursday morning.

“These police officers were standing there and they were shot, just because they were police officers,” said Belmar, who added that the officers sustained serious gunshot wounds. 

The Webster Groves officer, a 32-year-old who has worked in the department for five years, was shot in the face, according to Belmar. The St Louis County officer, who is 41 and a 17-year law-enforcement veteran, was shot in the shoulder, he said. 

Sergeant Brian Schellman, a spokesman for St Louis County police, told the Guardian that both officers were being treated in hospital. “No update yet on condition,” said Schellman. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reported police sources saying both were expected to survive.

Belmar said the shots appeared to have been aimed at the police as they were fired “parallel with the ground” and did not appear to have ricocheted. “I would have to make an assumption that these shots were directed exactly at my police officers,” he said.

Several protesters at the scene said the shots appeared to have been fired from a hill behind a dwindling group of demonstrators who were celebrating the resignation of Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson and were gathered across from the police department on the other side of South Florissant Road. 

Tony Rice, a Ferguson resident and protester, said: “The shots came from up Tiffin Avenue” – an upwards-sloping street directly opposite the police department. DeRay Mckesson, a prominent leader of the Ferguson protest movement, agreed that the shots were fired …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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