FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – Two police officers were shot near the Ferguson Police Department at around midnight. Protesters were marching after Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson’s resignation. Three shots rang out and the officers standing in a line were hit. They are expected to survive.
A 32-year-old Webster Groves police officer with 5-years of service was shot in the face. The second officer, a 41-year-old, 14-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department, was shot in the shoulder.
There were several arrests during the protests on Wednesday night. Police called for backup after the protests swelled at around 10pm. 69 police officers responded to the scene. The protests seemed to be waning when gunshots rang out at around 12am.
The victims were standing with a group of officers in front of the police department on South Florissant Road. They were in riot gear for crowd control.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says he believes the shooter was, “somehow embedded in that group of folks.” He says that muzzle flashes could be seen 125 yards away. It is not clear if the shooter was affiliated with the protesters.
Shell casings have been recovered in the area. Chief Belmar says that he is making it the first priority of the St. Louis County police department to find the shooter. He says, “It is a miracle that no other police officers were shot during unrest in Ferguson last summer.”
The officers were treated for their injuries at Barnes Hospital. They have been released.
Police have released photos of the officer’s bloody uniforms.