It was just about midnight, and was at the tag end of an action at the police department, post “Chief Tom Jackson resigns” news. The Guardian coverage was the most thorough at the time.
(Note: if you can’t see Tweets in their entirety, hold down Control, press -, then +, and they should justify.)
- Two police officers have been shot in Ferguson at a protest outside the local police department. The St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said the police officers were shot “just because they were police officers.” Both officers remain in hospital and no update has been provided on their condition.
- Several shots were fired at the protest. The Webster Grove officer was shot in the face, and the St Louis County officer was shot in the shoulder. At this stage it is not clear where the shots originated from.
- The shooting came just hours after the embattled police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, Thomas Jackson resigned. His department had been accused of racial bias in a scathing report by the US government.
“The St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar, said at the press briefing: “These police officers were standing there and they were shot, just because they were police officers.”
The officers sustained “serious gunshot wounds to face and upper torso”, according to Belmar. One was from St Louis County and one was from Webster Groves.
Asked to confirm protesters’ accounts that the shots were fired from people outside the group of demonstrators, Belmar said: “I don’t know who did the shooting to be honest with you right now, but somehow they were embedded in that group of folks.”
Here’s some further quotes from the press conference Jon Belmar just held:
We’ve had occasion to be involved in many of the events in Ferguson since Michael Brown was killed and we’ve been very fortunate as we’ve moved forward not to have similar instances like this happen to us.
As I have said all along, we can not sustain this forever without problems – that’s not an indictment on everybody that’s out there expressing their first amendment rights.
But what we have seen in law enforcement that this is a very, very, very dangerous environment for the officers to work in regarding the amount of gunfire that we’ve experienced out there
A St Louis County police spokesman has also told my colleague Jon Swaine: “Both officers are at hospital. No update yet on condition.”
Most Twitter witnesses said that the shots came from across the road, up a hill, yada, yada. But NOT from “embedded protestors”.
The story is developing. A local Fox affiliate: Police have three in custody during hunt for shooters
The video hasn’t hit youtube yet, but it’s worth watching. Some rather baffling text:
“Police swarmed a house in Ferguson, just four blocks from the Ferguson Police Department, where the shooting took place ,according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A tactical team scaled the home and tried to break in through the attic, where they believed one of the suspects may have been hiding. The house is located on Dade Avenue, near Tiffin Avenue.
After breaking through, there was no one found. Two men were however escorted from the home in handcuffs, as well as the woman who rents the home. Police would not comment on the situation.
Family members of the woman tell FOX 2 that the SWAT Team entered their home at 125 South Dade and took possession of a white car for evidence.
The family of the woman tells news 11 that they were at last night’s protest and were part of the peacefully assembly.”
Let Tweeters in Ferguson take it for now:
(I have no idea why everything went thin after “rather baffling text”; sorry.)