Shortly after midnight in the waning moments of a protest at the Ferguson Police Department in Missouri, at least three gunshots were fired from beyond the crowd. Two police officers, each from neighboring departments, were struck and seriously injured, one in the head and the other in the shoulder.
What We Don't Know
Addressing reporters at a press conference outside of the of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where the two officers were being treated, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said simply, “I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you.” Belmar did gesture in the greater direction of a motive, offering that "these shots were directed exactly at my police officers.”
Some witnesses described a scene not unlike many shootings: seemingly harmless loud noises, followed by a crowd hitting the deck en masse. "We saw the muzzle fire from a gun up top of the street," Bradley Rayford, a freelance photographer, told the AP. "Once we ducked down, we saw a cop was shot right next to us."
Thursday's shooting comes just hours after Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, one of the most visible figures in the unrest that followed the shooting of Michael Brown in August, resigned.