Here Are The New Details About This Weekend's Shootings in Ferguson

August 10th 2015

Kyle Jaeger

An 18-year-old man was shot and critically injured on Sunday evening after he opened fire on four plainclothes police officers near a group of protestors in Ferguson, Missouri. The man, identified as Tyrone Harris Jr., gave chase and an exchange of gunfire erupted at approximately 11:15 p.m, according to the St. Louis County Police.

At least one other unidentified man was allegedly involved in the shooting, but his whereabouts are currently unknown, the Associated Press wrote. Harris was spotted by St. Louis County detectives running south on West Florissant Avenue, a street that has been the scene of many demonstrations since the killing of Michael Brown, and when the officers pursued the suspect, he reportedly shot at the unmarked vehicle and continued running.

"The suspect once again stopped, turned, and reengaged the detectives, who returned fire, striking the suspect multiple times," the police wrote in a press release. "The detectives immediately called for an ambulance to respond to the scene."

An unverified video appears to show Harris, bloodied and surrounded by two police officers. The person recording was told not to resist, handcuffed, and then later released.

The Twitter account for the St. Louis County Police posted images of the car, as well as two other patrol cars, sprayed with bullets.

Harris was taken to the hospital and remains in "critical, unstable" condition. No officers were injured; all four were placed on administrative leave, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. A semiautomatic, 9 mm gun was retrieved from the crime scene. It had been reported stolen last year in a nearby town, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

"They were criminals. They weren't protesters," Belmar said at a press conference, dispelling the notion that those involved in the shooting were associated with the demonstrations that had been taking place in Ferguson over the past three days to honor the death of Michael Brown, who was killed one year ago. "There is a small group of people out there that are intent on making sure that peace doesn't prevail."

"There are a lot of emotions. I get it. But we can't sustain this as we move forward."

Though there have some reports of a second, police-involved shooting around the time of this incident, law enforcement officials say that gunfire heard around 11:15 a.m. came from a separate scene. An estimated six shooters from two groups fired a "remarkable" amount of shots at each other, Belmar commented.

The sound of gunfire can be heard on several videos posted to social media, including a clip of CNN reporter Sara Sidner interviewing interim Ferguson Police Chief Andre Anderson. As they talk about the protests, which had grown increasingly tense throughout the day, a round of bullets were discharged in the background.

Following the shooting, armored vehicles moved in on the scene and protestors were blocked off. Sunday marked the first of three days of protesting that police showed up in riot gear, carrying assault weapons and pepper spray canisters. It was also the first day that arrests were made. Between midnight and 1:15 a.m., four people were arrested—three for "interfering" and one for possession of a defaced firearm.