A man who opened fire on officers in Ferguson, Mo., is in "critical, unstable" condition after being struck when the officers returned fire, the St. Louis County Police chief says. Chief Jon Belmar notes plainclothes officers had been tracking the man, who they believed was armed, during a protest marking the anniversary of the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The man approached the officers, who were in an unmarked police van, and opened fire, Belmar says. The officers returned fire from inside the vehicle and then pursued the man on foot when he ran. The man again fired on the officers, the chief says, and all four officers fired back. The man was struck and fell.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has identified the man as 18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr., whose father tells the paper that his son and Michael Brown "were real close" and there is "a lot more to this than what's being said." The officers involved, who were not wearing body cameras, have been placed on standard administrative leave. The shooting happened shortly after what the chief called "an exchange of gunfire between two groups" rang out while protesters were gathered, causing them to run for cover. The chief says an estimated six shooters unleashed a "remarkable" amount of gunfire over about 45 seconds, but he says the people with the weapons were not part of the protest. "They were criminals. They weren't protesters," he says.