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As protests persist, suspects sought in shootings of two Missouri officers
September 28, 2014 / 3:20 AM / 3 years ago

As protests persist, suspects sought in shootings of two Missouri officers

(Reuters) - Police were seeking suspects on Sunday in what appeared to be the unrelated shootings of two police officers in and near the Missouri city of Ferguson, which remains on edge after a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer last month.

The Saturday night shooting of an officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson did not seem linked to peaceful protests occurring elsewhere in the city, police said, nor was it connected to a separate shooting involving an off-duty police officer in St. Louis early Sunday.

Neither officer received life-threatening injuries, according to the St. Louis County Police Department.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday afternoon, Police Sergeant Brian Schellman said.

In the first incident, the officer had seen a man in the rear of the Ferguson Community Center at about 9 p.m. on Saturday. The man ran away and then turned and shot the officer in the arm during a foot chase, Schellman said.

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

Protesters march in front of the police department during a rally in Ferguson, Missouri, September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis

Three hours later, an off-duty St. Louis City police officer driving his personal vehicle on Interstate 70 was shot at and suffered a minor arm injury from broken glass, Schellman said.

It was not clear if the officer was targeted or if the shooting was random, Schellman said. The officer, who was wearing his uniform pants but not his uniform shirt, did not return fire, the sergeant said.

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 who gathered near the scene of Saturday night’s shooting, as well as a group that broke off to protest at Ferguson police headquarters, remained peaceful, according to a witness interviewed by Reuters.

On Thursday, 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. Many in Ferguson, a mostly black community of 21,000, have said Jackson should be fired for what they saw as a heavy-handed response in the aftermath of Brown’s killing.

Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Nick Zieminski

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