A “smoking gun” video, tweeted less than an hour before a man opened fire on police in Ferguson Sunday, showed protesters chanting “we’re ready for war” as St. Louis County locks down in a state of emergency.
Earlier in the evening, demonstrators were heard chanting “f**k the police” during a live interview on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” as the tension ratcheted up.
Paul Hampel, a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, recorded video of a group of protesters chanting and mugging for news cameras the night a man opened fire on officers around 11:15 p.m. The video was tweeted at 10:47 p.m. Central Time.
— Paul Hampel (@phampel) August 10, 2015
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the shooter approached officers in an unmarked van and opened fire, following what he called “an exchange of gunfire” between two groups gathered on West Florissant Avenue, the Post-Dispatch reported Monday.
Officers returned fire from inside the van and pursued the man on foot when he ran. After an exchange of gunfire, police shot the unidentified man, who was in “critical, unstable” condition according to the newspaper.
Although the chief referred to the groups who fired weapons as criminals, saying “they weren’t protesters,” it’s clear that many protesters were preparing for the opposite of peaceful demonstrations—they were preparing for war.