St. Louis Skies Now Cleared After Shots Diverted Flights
29 arrests made after chaos follows Brown decision
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 25, 2014 1:50 AM CST
Updated Nov 25, 2014 4:35 AM CST
A man watches as stores burn in Ferguson early this morning.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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(Newser) – The Federal Aviation Administration diverted about 10 St. Louis-bound flights to other airports last night because of reports of gunshots fired into the sky in Ferguson, Mo. The FAA says the flights were rerouted "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities," though the AP notes those restrictions were lifted at 3:30am. Flights were expected to resume normally today. Flames engulfed multiple businesses and vehicles in the city early today as gunfire kept firefighters at bay after protests over the Darren Wilson decision turned violent, despite pleas for peace from Brown's family and others. After the decision was announced, protesters smashed windows out of police cars and buildings, several of which were later looted and set ablaze, and officers lobbed tear gas from inside armored vehicles to disperse crowds.

A storage facility, two auto parts stores, a beauty supply store, and a pizza shop were among the businesses that burned. Authorities reported hearing hundreds of gunshots, which for a time prevented fire crews from fighting the flames. At least 29 arrests have been made, but St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says that to his knowledge, police have neither sustained nor caused any serious injuries. He told reporters he was glad nobody was killed, but he says the damage is "probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August, and that's truly unfortunate." Thousands of people rallied in other US cities, most peacefully, and President Obama appealed for calm and understanding, pleading with both protesters and police to show restraint.