A St. Louis County man was shot by police early Wednesday morning near the site where protesters and law enforcement have been engaged in clashes over a teen’s killing a few days ago.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that officers responded to reports of gunfire about 1 a.m. and saw “multiple subjects running” from the scene, police spokesman Brian Schellman reported.
Mr. Schellman said an officer fired after one of the suspects pointed a gun toward the officer. The critically injured suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment, the Post-Dispatch reported.
It isn’t clear if the incident was related to the ongoing violence that has marked the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson for the past two days, stemming from a police officer’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
A writer for Business Insider reported police wearing full body armor and Kevlar helmets, carting “short-barreled 5.56-mm rifles based on the military M4 carbine, with scopes that can accurately hit a target out to 500 meters,” and driving armored vehicles have responded to the crowds.
The writer, Paul Szoldra, who served as a Marine in Afghanistan, said St. Louis police are donning uniforms that “would be mistaken for a soldier’s if it weren’t for their ‘Police’ patches … and they stand in front of a massive up armored truck called a Bearcat, similar in look to a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or as the troops who rode in them call it, the MRAP.”
Mr. Szoldra asked on his Twitter account if observers of the St. Louis scene thought police were becoming too militarized in appearance and behavior.
One who said he served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division responded to his tweet: “We rolled lighter than that in an actual war zone.”