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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times

FERGUSON, Mo. — A St. Louis County police officer has reportedly shot and critically wounded a man who police say pointed a handgun at the officer early Wednesday in Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of an unarmed young black man by an officer has triggered demonstrations, street clashes and looting.

A woman was also shot in the head and wounded during the area’a sporadic street demonstrations overnight, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. He also confirmed the separate officer-involved shooting, but said that incident was being handled by St. Louis County police.

The officer-involved shooting, which occurred at 1 a.m. CDT, occurred near the intersection of West Florissant Avenue and Chambers Road, near the site of protests against police in the shooting of Michael Brown, St. Louis County police told local media outlets.

A county police spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Officers arrived at the scene after receiving a call reporting four to five armed men in the area, and reports of shots fired, county police spokesman Officer Brian Schellman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. An officer approached one of the men, who pulled a handgun on the officer, and the officer shot him, Schellman said.

The unidentified man was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to the Post-Dispatch. A gun was recovered at the scene, police said.

A county police spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

In the incident involving the woman, local media reported that she was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting near the Ferguson QuikTrip gas station that had been looted and burned over the weekend and which has become a gathering point for demonstrators this week.

She was conscious after being shot and called 911 herself, Jackson said. He was not able to provide further details, saying that he hadn’t been briefed yet. Police were reportedly seeking four to five men.

Racial tensions have simmered since the Saturday shooting of Brown. Ferguson is a working-class suburb of 21,000, where two-thirds of residents are black but police and city officials are predominantly white.

Throughout Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, scores of demonstrators faced off with riot police in Ferguson, with some protesters leaving peacefully and others being forced away by tear gas.

The street demonstrations followed a packed church meeting Tuesday night in Ferguson, in which Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who is white, told area residents and civic leaders he wanted an “open, thorough and fair” investigation into Michael Brown’s death, also adding, “in the face of crisis, we must keep calm.”

“As a father of two sons, I’ve prayed for the parents and loved ones of Michael Brown,” Nixon said in his remarks. “We stand together tonight, reeling from what feels like an old wound that has been torn open afresh.”

Nixon spoke at a second packed community forum and called for reconciliation and healing “while remaining uncompromising in our expectation that justice must not simply be pursued, but in fact achieved.”

The father of the young man who was killed, Michael Brown Sr., said: “I need all of us to come together and do it right, the right way, so we can get something done about this. No violence.”

Photo: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT

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