Ferguson police has exercised restraint when an alleged protestor among a crowd fired a shot, wounding two police officers who were taken to the local hospital, the Associated Press reported.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar pointed out the severity of the incident.
“We’re lucky by God’s grace we didn’t lose two officers last night,” he said.
One of the two officers, aged 41, was wounded when the shot hit him from a distance of about 120 yards to his right shoulder. The other officer, 32, was shot on the right cheek inches below the eye.
The mayor of Ferguson, James Knowles III, expressed concern over the demonstrations carried out by activists, while respecting their rights to do so. “We cannot continue to move forward under threats of violence and destruction to our community. We ask our residents and clergy in this area to partner with us as we make our way through this process.”
There are speculations that the shots came from the middle of the crowd of protestors.
“I don’t know who did the shooting, … but somehow they were embedded in that group of folks,” Belmar said, as quoted by Reuters.
It is suspected that the violence was orchestrated by individuals who want to hijack whatever peaceful resolution the protest could bring between police and residents.
President Obama denounced the incident from Washington, saying, “Path to justice is one all of us must travel together.”
The protests stemmed from the shooting of 18-year-old African American Michael Brown by a white police officer.
“We reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement,” Brown’s family said in a statement.