Two officers from neighboring departments were shot just after midnight as protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the resignations of Ferguson City Manager John Shaw and Police Chief Thomas Jackson were ending.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said one officer was with his department and the other was with the Webster Groves department. Both were being treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where Belmar spoke, and were in serious condition.
The chief said at least three shots were fired. He described the injuries of both men as “very serious gunshot injuries.”
The Webster Groves officer was shot in the face. He is 32 and has been on the force seven years.
The county officer was hit in the shoulder. That officer is 41 and has been on the force for 14 years.
Belmar said no suspects have been identified in the shootings.
Eyewitness accounts say that the protests were starting to wind down, with officers and protesters alike starting to leave the scene of a “mostly peaceful” protest when at least three shots were fired from the crest of Tiffin Hill, a residential neighborhood northwest of the police department. The shots were fired towards a cluster of officers, striking two of them.
One of the protesters filming the event captured audio of what appears be three shots fired, and what sounds like moaning immediately afterward.
We’ll warn you in advance that the language in the video is not safe for work.
Incredibly, less than 20 seconds after shots are fired, you can here a (presumably white male liberal) protester scream out over the moans, “Acknowledgement nine months ago would have kept that from happening!”
The vile protester was presumably referring to the justified shooting of strong-arm robber and attempted cop-killer Michael Brown, who was shot and killed as he charged Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in an apparent second attempt to overpower Wilson and take his weapon.
The shots were fired at the police with little or no regard for the protesters, including at least one who said that he felt/heard the bullet whip by his head before he heard the shot.
After shots rang out officers in front of the station took cover and drew their weapons, scanning for the shooter. Members of the media who helped turn Ferguson into a national nightmare cowered behind them.
Officers from numerous agencies responded to the scene, and by 2:30 AM, officers were focused on scouring the area behind a tire store on Tiffin Hill from where the shots seem to originate, searching for evidence.
There do not seem to be any witnesses who have come forward with a description of the shooter.
Update: Three people have been picked up in a SWAT raid that authorities say is directly related to last night’s shooting. The residence raided was four blocks away from the police station where the shooting took place. The two men and three women have not yet been arrested, and were (so far) only brought in for questioning.
The investigation so far indicates that the shots were fired 125 yards away from the police station, probably with a handgun. This determination was made based upon the kind and location of shell casings recovered at the scene, the sound of the shot, and the wounds to the officers (including, no doubt the X-ray of the Webster Groves officer who still has a bullet lodged under his ear).
The officers themselves have both been released from the hospital.
The Webster Groves officer was shot just below his right eye and that the bullet was lodged just below the officer’s right ear, Belmar said. That officer is 32 and has been on the force for five years.
The bullet that hit the county officer in the right shoulder exited from the right side of his back, Belmar said. That officer is 41 and has been in law enforcement for 14 years.
The Webster Groves officer will require follow-up surgery to remove the bullet. We’re glad that both officers are going to recover.