Two officers were shot in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered after the resignation of the city’s police chief in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court, following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officers, reported the Associated Press.
Two officers, ages 32 and 41 were shot in the face and the shoulder from across the street, directly opposite the police department, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a hospital, where their conditions were described as non life-threatening but “serious.”
Police do not have any suspects, a gun description nor many other details. Belmar said his assumption was that, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, “these shots were directed exactly at my officers.”
The shots were fired shortly after midnight as protesters were gathered following the resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Before the shooting, some at the protest were chanting to show they weren’t satisfied with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw earlier in the week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
After the shooting, officers with guns and in riot gear circled the station, and more than a dozen squad cars blocked the street.
Jackson was the sixth employee to resign or be fired after a Justice Department report last week cleared Wilson of civil rights charges in the shooting. Wilson has since resigned. A separate Justice Department report released the same day found a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias in the city police department.