Police officer shot in troubled US city of Ferguson

Police officer shot in troubled US city of Ferguson

FERGUSON - Reuters
Police officer shot in troubled US city of Ferguson

Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers stand posted at the corner of Chambers Road and West Florissant Avenue on Sept. 27 in Ferguson, Mo., as police search for a suspect in the shooting of a police officer. AP Photo

A police officer from the strife-hit Missouri city of Ferguson was shot on Sept. 27 night and authorities are still searching for the shooter, law enforcement officials said.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters the shooting did not seem connected to peaceful protests occurring elsewhere in Ferguson.

"I wouldn't have any reason to believe right now that it was linked in any way, shape, manner or form with the protests," he said.

The officer was chasing the suspect outside the Ferguson Community Center on Sept 27 night when the person turned and shot him in the arm, St. Louis County Police Sergeant Brian Schellman said.

The officer, who was treated at a local hospital, returned fire but apparently did not hit the suspect, Schellman said. The shooter disappeared into a nearby wooded area, eluding arrest.

Police said earlier that there were two suspects, but detectives later determined there was only one, Schellman said.

Several hours later, an off-duty St. Louis City police officer was shot at and suffered a minor arm injury from broken glass while driving on a nearby freeway in a personal car, police said.

It was not immediately clear if the two shootings were related. The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson has seen weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations following the death of black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

A crowd of about 100 people gathered near the scene of the night's first shooting, with a group breaking off to protest at Ferguson police headquarters, according to Kareem Jackson, 27, a musician who goes by the stage name Tef Poe and is a member of the activist group HandsUp United.

"People are peaceful as a duck, just literally standing on the side of the street watching," he said in a phone interview from the site where protesters had gathered.

On Sept. 25, Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson issued a video apology to Brown's parents following weeks of heavy criticism and calls for his ouster.

The apology was not well-received among some and led to reported protests hours after it was issued.

Many in Ferguson, a mostly black community of 21,000, have called for Jackson to be fired for what they saw as a heavy-handed response in the aftermath of the killing.