FERGUSON • On the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, police in Ferguson, Missouri, shot a man they say opened fire on them. A peaceful day of protest and remembrance dissolved into chaos late Sunday when a man fired multiple shots at four St. Louis County plainclothes detectives in an SUV. The detectives fired back and the shooter was struck, said county Police Chief Jon Belmar. He was in critical condition.
Tyrone Harris identified the victim as his son, Tyrone Harris Jr., 18, of St. Louis. Harris said shortly after 3 a.m. that his son had just gotten out of surgery.
He said his son graduated from Normandy High School and that he and Michael Brown Jr. “were real close.”
The four detectives, who have six to 12 years of experience, will be placed on administrative leave, a standard practice after a police-involved shooting. They were not wearing body cameras, Belmar said.
A coalition calling itself the Ferguson Action Council criticized St. Louis County for putting plainclothes officers without body cameras in Ferguson. The coalition includes the Don’t Shoot Coalition, Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle and others. In a news release Monday morning, the coalition said in part: “After a year of protest and conversation around police accountability, having plain clothes officers without body cameras and proper identification in the protest setting leaves us with only the officer’s account of the incident, which is clearly problematic.”
Ferguson’s interim police chief, Andre Anderson, had just finished a television interview saying officers were placed throughout the community to protect businesses, and he was hoping to be patient and allow the protesters to march peacefully.
Early Monday morning, police warned those gathered by Canfield that they needed to disperse or police could use “chemical munitions” against them. Smoke bombs appeared to be fired at about 2 a.m.
At 2:15 a.m., two teenagers were shot in a drive-by shootingnear the Michael Brown Jr. memorial on Canfield Drive. The victims, ages 17 and 19, were hospitalized and expected to survive. The gunman was riding in a passenger car and opened fire on them, police say.