Two police officers were shot at a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday morning, police said.
They remain in a hospital with serious injuries, a police source said.
The shooting happened during a protest that began Wednesday night, following the resignation of Chief Thomas Jackson from the St. Louis suburb’s police department.
Around 1:20 a.m., dozens of people at the protest started posting messages on social media about a shooting. Witnesses described two to six shots.
A raw video of the shooting shows protesters screaming in horror after the shots are fired.
Moments after the shooting, as protesters and police continue scrambling or taking cover, someone off camera yells: “Acknowledgement nine months ago would’ve kept that from happening!”
The person filming says the shooting came from a hill behind the crowd.
The St. Louis County Police Department confirmed the shootings hours later in a tweet, announcing one officer is with the St. Louis County Police Department and the other works in Webster Grove, another St. Louis suburb.
“2 officers shot in #Ferguson tonight. One officer from St Louis County. One officer from Webster Groves. #stl #officerdown,” the department tweeted on its account.
The officers are both being treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, spokesperson Jennifer Arvin told the Daily News.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told local media outside the hospital that both officers are conscious but have “very serious” injuries, Byers tweeted.
The Webster Groves officer, who is 32 and has been on the force five years, was shot in the face, Belmar said.
The county officer, who is 41 and a 14-year veteran of the force, was shot in the shoulder.
Belmar said he believed the officers were targeted in the shooting, but no suspects have been named.
The protest began hours after Chief Jackson resigned.
Jackson became the sixth city official to step down since a Department of Justice report last week lambasted Ferguson’s courts and police department for corruption and racial bias.
Before the shooting, some protesters celebrated Jackson’s resignation and called for Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III to be the next to step down.
The Department of Justice reported was spurred by the nationwide controversy ignited from the August 2014 killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown by white officer Darren Wilson, and a grand jury’s decision in November to not indict Wilson.
Ferguson has seen constant, often violent protests since Brown’s death, but this is the first instance of officers being shot at one.
Source: NY DAILY NEWS