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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.