Teenager seriously injured in Ferguson police-involved shooting

5 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Monday, August 10 2015 Aug 10, 2015 Monday, August 10, 2015 3:01:00 PM CDT August 10, 2015 in News
By: The Associated Press, James Packard and Katie Pylipow, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

FERGUSON (AP)- The identity of the 18-year-old black suspect who was critically wounded after being shot by police Sunday night in Ferguson has been released. 

Prosecutors have filed 10 counts against Tyrone Harris. 

The office of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said charges include five counts of armed criminal action, four counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and one firearms charge. All 10 charges are felonies.

Harris remains hospitalized following surgery. St. Louis County Police Chief described his condition as critical. 

Belmar said at a news conference early Monday morning that plainclothes officers had been tracking Harris, who they believed was armed, during a protest marking the anniversary of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Belmar said Harris approached the officers, who were in an unmarked police car and opened fire. All four officers returned fire from inside the vehicle. They then pursued the Harris on foot.

The chief said Harris again fired on the officers. All four fired back.

Belmar said the police shooting happened shortly after dozens of shots rang out around 11:15 p.m. Sunday, as protesters were gathered on West Florissant Avenue. The shots sent the crowd running for cover.

Belmar says the suspect was among about six people who fired shots during a protest.

 


 

None of the officers was seriously injured. All four have been put on standard administrative leave. They were not wearing body cameras, because plainclothed officers in St. Louis County are not equipped with body cameras, Belmar said.

Belmar waved off any notion that the people with the weapons were part of the protest.

"They were criminals. They weren't protesters," he said.

According to the chief, the suspect, now identified as Harris, fired on officers had a semi-automatic 9MM gun that was stolen last year from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, according to the chief.

"There is a small group of people out there that are intent on making sure that peace doesn't prevail," he said. "There are a lot of emotions. I get it. But we can't sustain this as we move forward."

The anniversary of Brown's killing, which cast greater scrutiny on how police interact with black communities, has sparked days of renewed protests, though until Sunday they had been peaceful and without any arrests.

Before the gunfire, protesters were blocking traffic and confronting police. One person threw a glass bottle at officers but missed.

 


 

For the first time in three consecutive nights of demonstrations, some officers were dressed in riot gear, including bullet-proof vests and helmets with shields. Police at one point early Monday shot smoke to disperse the crowd that lingered on West Florissant, Belmar said.

One officer was treated for cuts related to a rock thrown at his face, and two officers were pepper sprayed by protesters, county police spokesman Officer Shawn McGuire said in an email. Five people were arrested, according to records McGuire released.

 


 

There were also reports of two separate shootings on nearby Canfield Drive, the street where Brown was shot, Belmar said. 

At about 5:00 Monday morning, police released a statement saying a 17 and 19-year-old had been shot. Police said the teens told them they were walking along the sidewalk, near the memorial for Brown, when a car drove by. The two said someone shot at them from the rear passenger side of the car. Each teen was hit once, and they were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Prior to Sunday night's violence, several peaceful events were held to mark the anniversary of Brown's death.

Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., led a march through town. It started at the site where Brown was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November.

Later, a few hundred people turned out at Greater St. Mark Family Church for a service to remember Brown, with his father joining other relatives sitting behind the pulpit.

Organizers of some of the weekend activities pledged a day of civil disobedience on Monday, but have not offered specific details.

[Editor's note: This story is being continually updated with the latest information available.]

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