Police officer shot in Ferguson, Mo.
Officer shot in the arm, search for 2 suspects ongoing
A Ferguson police officer was shot in the arm Saturday night after encountering two men at a community centre who ran from him and then opened fire during a foot chase, authorities said.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a media briefing early Sunday that the officer approached the men around 9:10 p.m. local time because the community centre was closed. As the officer approached, the men ran away. When the officer gave chase, "one of the men turned and shot," Belmar said.
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The officer was shot in the arm and is expected to survive, he said. Belmar did not identify the officer or give further details about his condition. He said the officer returned fire but said police have "no indication" that either suspect was shot.
A search was underway for the suspects early Sunday in Ferguson, the central Missouri town that's been the scene of racial unrest in the wake of the August shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
Belmar said he did not think the officer's shooting was related to two separate protests about Michael Brown's shooting that were going on Saturday night around the same time.
Around midnight at the police station, approximately two dozen officers stood near a group of about 100 protesters who mingled on a street corner, occasionally shouting, "No justice; no peace."
Nearby, part of a road was closed in town as police conducted a search for the suspects. Numerous law enforcement agencies were responding, and police helicopters were canvassing the area.
The officer's shooting comes after Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson issued a videotaped apology to Brown's family earlier in the week and attempted to march with protesters, an effort that led to a clash with activists and several arrests on Thursday.
"An apology would be when Darren Wilson has handcuffs, processed and charged with murder," Michael Brown Sr. said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Darren Wilson is the white Ferguson police officer that fatally shot Brown last month.
A county grand jury is weighing whether to indict Wilson in Brown's shooting.
The U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating whether Brown's civil rights were violated, is conducting a broader probe into Ferguson police. On Friday, it urged Jackson to ban his officers from wearing bracelets supporting Wilson while on duty and from covering up their name plates with black tape.
Ferguson residents complained about the bracelets, which are black with "I am Darren Wilson" in white lettering, at a meeting with federal officials this week.
Brown's shooting has also focused attention on the lack of diversity in many police departments across the country. In Ferguson, of 53 officers in a community that is two-thirds black, only three are African-American.