Ferguson Shooting: Police Officers Released From the Hospital – ABC News
Two Missouri police officers shot overnight in Ferguson were released from the hospital this morning after sustaining non-threatening injuries following a night of renewed protests, the St. Louis County Police said in a Facebook post.
“Both were in serious condition before being released from Barnes Jewish Hospital,” the post read.
The cops, who have not been identified, were “lucky” they weren’t killed, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar had said earlier today.
At a news conference held before the Facebook posting, Belmar said they heard “hear three or four shots ring out” before the officers were hurt, both of whom were seriously wounded from a shooter standing about 150 feet away.
“We are lucky by God’s grace that we didn’t lose two police officers,” he said.
One officer, 41, was struck in the shoulder; the other, 32, in the face, Belmar said.
“With both officers, we don’t have any remarkable long-term injuries,” he added.
Belmar said the shots were fired from an undetermined location north or northwest of the Ferguson Police Department building.
“Ladies and gentleman, we were very close to having what happened to the NYPD. We could have buried two police officers,” Belmar said.
The shooter has not been arrested. The search for the suspect or suspects is the “number one priority” within the St. Louis County police department, according to Belmar.
In a statement this morning, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “This heinous assault on two brave law enforcement officers was inexcusable and repugnant. I condemn violence against any public safety officials in the strongest terms, and the Department of Justice will never accept any threats or violence directed at those who serve and protect our communities. … Such senseless acts of violence threaten the very reforms that nonviolent protesters in Ferguson and around the country have been working towards for the past several months.”
Holder also said he wished the officers “a full and speedy recovery.”
“We stand ready to offer any possible aid to an investigation into this incident, including the department’s full range of investigative resources. And we will continue to stand unequivocally against all acts of violence against cops whenever and wherever they occur,” he added.
Tensions simmered in the city on Wednesday night after the resignation of the city’s police chief, Tom Jackson. Hundreds of protesters gathered throughout the night, staring down police officers in riot gear.
A handful of people were arrested. Some people chanted, and other flare-ups were reported, unrest rekindled after a Justice Department report documented widespread racial bias in the city.
Jackson’s resignation makes him the sixth person who has been fired or forced to resign since the report was released March 4 detailing what it described as rampant racial bias in policing in the St. Louis suburb.
Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff will take over as the acting chief of police starting today as the city launches a national search for a new chief of police, the letter stated.
Jackson had initially come under fire in August for his department’s handling of the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.