The Slatest

Man Said to Have Shot at Police in Ferguson Is in Critical Condition, Has Been Charged

A wounded man in Ferguson, Missouri who reportedly shot at officers before they returned fire toward him.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

Update, 2:55 p.m.: Tyrone Harris has been charged with a number of crimes and is in critical condition, a St. Louis County police release says.

Original post, 9:08 a.m.: A man who shot at a police vehicle in Ferguson, Missouri late Sunday near protests marking the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death is in critical condition after officers returned fire, authorities say. From the New York Times:

The shooting came after rival groups began shooting at each other on the west side of West Florissant Avenue, the center of the Ferguson protests, Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department said … The injured man, who was not publicly identified, was part of one of the rival groups, the chief said, and four plainclothes officers saw him running across a parking lot on the opposite side of the avenue.

The officers drove their unmarked sport utility vehicle, with its interior lights flashing, toward him, and he opened fire on the car, Chief Belmar said. The police returned fire from inside the car and then chased the man on foot, he said. Dozens of gunshots were fired, and all four officers shot back and hit the man, who fell to the ground, he said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the man who was shot is an 18-year-old named Tyrone Harris Jr. Police say they recovered a stolen 9 mm handgun from the scene; Harris’s father said to the Associated Press that he was told by witnesses that his son was unarmed and had been in “the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The shooting reportedly took place at about 11:15 p.m. Earlier, several individuals had tried to rob a cash register from a beauty supply in the area of protests before abandoning it as police pursued them. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter named Paul Hampel subsequently reported that a different beauty shop had been broken into; Hampel was then attacked himself and bloodied, the Times says.

The looting and violence were condemned by both St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar and St. Louis alderman Antonio French, who has been a prominent figure at protest events since Brown’s death. “You have some people here who use the cover of this anniversary to commit some violent acts. To see violence happen on this day in this city is really disappointing.” French said. (French also tweeted that several individuals stole laptops and iPads from his activist group’s storefront after he let them in to take cover after hearing gunfire.)