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Gunfire in Ferguson a year after the killing of black teen

Last updated on: August 10, 2015 18:19 IST
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The peaceful protests gave way to a tense standoff Sunday night after gunfire erupted in Ferguson, where demonstrators commemorated the one-year anniversary of the police shooting death of teenager Michael Brown

Police take cover as a barrage of gunfire erupts along West Florrisant Street during a demonstration to mark the first year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A man was gravely wounded in a gun battle with police as street protests turned violent in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday night, capping a day of peaceful rallies to mark the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white officer one year ago.

The police shot a person in Ferguson, a city in St Louis County, Missouri, United States, after its officers came under heavy gunfire near a demonstration that marked last year’s fatal shooting.

Police chief Jon Belmar said that the shooting took place when “an exchange of gunfire between two groups” rang out around on Sunday while protesters were gathered in a business zone that saw rioting and looting last year after Brown’s killing. The shots sent protesters and reporters running for cover.

Protesters fall to the ground to take cover after shots were fired in a shooting in Ferguson. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

The injuries have not yet been confirmed, as the police claimed that two unmarked police cars came under fire during the gunfight.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing at least one injured person lying on the ground.

The man approached the officers and opened fire, Belmar said. The officers returned fire from inside the vehicle and then pursued the man on foot when he ran.

During the gunfire, at least two unmarked cars took shots, tweets the police department. Photograph: ‏@stlcountypd/Twitter

The man again fired on the officers, the chief said, and all four officers fired back. He was struck and fell. The man was taken to a hospital, where Belmar said he was in a “critical, unstable” condition. 

A word circulated, along with a video, that the person shot was another black man, ratcheting up the tension, reports CNN.

Several objects were thrown at police and some businesses damaged elsewhere, the St LouisCounty police department said.

No officers were injured though, the police said. 

Demonstrators pray at the site of last year's riots on the one year anniversary of the killing of Brown in Ferguson. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of people observed a four-and-a-half minute silence at the spot Michael Brown was killed. It represented the number of hours that his body lay in the street, unattended.

A protester takes part in a small rally at Union Square in New York on Sunday. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The shooting of the 18-year-old by white police officer Darren Wilson sparked outrage across the United States. A grand jury didn’t indict Wilson and the Justice Department also declined to bring criminal charges.

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