2 officers shot outside Ferguson Police Department, hospitalized with ‘very serious’ wounds

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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Two police officers were shot outside the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, the St. Louis County Police Department confirmed.

Spokesman Brian Schellman says the officers were shot shortly after midnight Thursday.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at least three shots were fired from northwest of the police department and two officers were hit — one from the St. Louis County Police Department, a 41-year-old, was struck in the shoulder; the other, a 32year-old from the Webster Groves Police Department, was struck in the face.

Both were rushed in the hospital. “The are conscious,” Belmar said, adding “these are very serious gunshot injuries.”

Belmar says he did not know who shot the officers, but he believed they were targeted.

The shots were fired as protesters had gathered following the resignation of the city’s embattled Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday.

Jackson was the sixth employee to resign or be fired after a Justice Department report cleared a white former Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, of civil rights charges in the shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson last summer. Wilson has since resigned.

 Protestors demonstrate outside the Ferguson Police Department on March11, 2015 in Ferguson, MO. Protests erupted after the announcement of the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson earlier in the day. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Protestors demonstrate outside the Ferguson Police Department on March11, 2015 in Ferguson, MO. Protests erupted after the announcement of the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson earlier in the day. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

“All of a sudden, I heard at least 4 or 5 shots rang out,” witness Markus Loehrer told CNN. “It took me at least 30 seconds of watching before I realized there was an officer down. We are not there to shoot cops, we don’t like violence. So we did what anybody would do — we ran away.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that Bradley Rayford, a freelance journalist who has been reporting from Ferguson since the unrest began there last summer, said he saw three or four muzzle flashes from the crest of Tiffin Hill, a residential neighborhood with large century-old homes.

“We could see the muzzle flash,” saidRayford, a witness who said he was a few feet from the shooting. “Someone was shooting towards the police department.”

The Post-Dispatch said Rayford was in front of the police line on South Florissant at the time. He said he couldn’t tell if the shots were being fired from a vehicle.

The newspaper said that at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, about 25 officers ascended the hill and began scouring the front yard of a home for evidence.

Protesters had gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department Wednesday night to cheer the resignation of the city’s embattled Police Chief Thomas Jackson.

The crowd had been thinning out, ready to call it a night, when the shots rang out, tweeted Susan Weich, one of several Post-Dispatch reporters reporting from the scene.

The shots rang out as the protests appeared to be dwindling, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. Some of the protesters fell to the ground and others ran.

Several members of the media, including a Post-Dispatch reporter and photographer, were near the officers who were hit.

The shots appeared to come from the direction of a block of homes on Tiffin Avenue that intersects West Florissant Avenue, the Post-Dispatch said. Witnesses reported two to four shots.

The shooting brought a much larger contingent of officers, many with high-powered rifles, to the scene, the newspaper said.

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  • Christine Bandaly

    So they are any better than a cop that shoots how!? I believe all the people in blue should just walk off the job, I realize that everyone thinks that every cop is bad but that simple isn’t true. What gives anyone the right to take justice in their own hand. I realize that many of you will spew hate at me but this country is so unraveling by the threads that I don’t really care.

  • Sandra Dudley

    I believe all people are born with a fallen human nature prone to sinfulness. Racism is sinful so all races of people can be racists. However I think racism is being incited in black communities by race baiters encouraging black racism against whites fomenting anger and resentment against all authority turning those communities into lawless communities. All people, black and white need to band together to stop the race baiting and all racism.

  • jameszhang

    At this point, the Ferguson PD should just pack up and leave.

    The treatment police officers get from liberals in this country is sickening. As if anyone would want to stay on the force after the hatchet job the liberal media, Obama, Holder, and Sharpton do to them!

    Can we move on and stop wasting our energy on this Ferguson drama? While the media focuses on this non-sense, the US economy is burning. Many of our citizens have had their jobs taken away along with their health insurance. The middle class is shrinking and its not getting any better.

    Obama has destroyed our economy. Everyone is under-employed and can’t afford to live. We must now purchase health insurance we cannot afford and do not want or need (mine is $450/month… contrast this to my $25/month auto insurance from Insurance Panda… or my $12/month renters insurance from Eagle… both private-enterprise!)

    When we elected President Obama, weren’t we promised “hope and change”?

    Officer Wilson did his job. The criminal (Michael Brown) defiantly disregarded the law and orders in a physical confrontation. I’m sorry he had to die, but he should have realized the risk involved with attacking a police officer after committing a robbery!

    Prayers to these Ferguson officers. Respect the police, America!

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