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Panic, violence captured on video: Cops under heavy gunfire at Ferguson anniversary protest

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Protests marking the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri turned violent when police came under heavy gunfire.

One of the protesters was critically injured during the shootout.

The gunshots were caught on video as CNN was interviewing interim Ferguson police chief Andre Anderson.

St. Louis County police tweeted about the incident at 12:54 a.m. EST.

“A St. Louis County officer was involved in an officer-involved shooting after coming under heavy gunfire,” the police department wrote. “During the gunfire, at least 2 unmarked cars took shots.”

Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a 3:30 a.m. press conference that the man who fired on police was involved in a shootout with another person and then shot at four plain clothes officers in an unmarked SUV, the Washington Post reported.

“I can tell you that it was a remarkable amount of gunfire,” Belmar said, estimating that 40 or 50 shots were fired in 45 seconds. He did not identify the officers, the man they shot, or the races of those involved, but said the man who was shot was about 20 years old.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Tyrone Harris Sr. identified the victim as his son, Tyrone Harris Jr., 18, of St. Louis. Harris said his son had gotten out of surgery, and was a friend of Michael Brown.

“We think there’s a lot more to this than what’s being said,” Harris Sr. told the Post-Dispatch.

“There is a small group of people out there who are intent on making sure we don’t have peace that prevails,” Belmar said. “That’s unfortunate. Because even with the folks who were in the street last night, there were a lot of emotions, I get it. But this is something different.”

He added: “We can’t talk about the good things that we have been talking about in the last year … if we’re prevented from moving forward by this type of violence,” characterizing the shooting as “avoidable.”

The chaos that ensued was caught on video.

Belmar said the person who shot at police was not a protester, according to the Post.

Twitter erupted with commentary on the shooting, with some immediately blaming police.

Carmine Sabia


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