Two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, were shot and wounded in what officials called an ambush early on Thursday, in the latest spasm of violence arising from months of tension between African-Americans and the city’s mostly white police force.
An intense manhunt was under way for a suspect or suspects in the shootings of the officers, who were treated and released from hospital, St Louis County Police said. An undisclosed number of people were taken in for questioning, police said.A 41-year-old St. Louis County Police officer was struck in the shoulder and a 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves Police Department had a bullet lodged near his ear after it passed through his cheek, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said.”This is really an ambush, is what it is,” Belmar said. “You can’t see it coming. You don’t understand that it’s going to happen.”
The shots rang out as a rally in front of the city’s police headquarters was dispersing hours after the local police chief resigned. After months of criticism, Police Chief Tom Jackson quit in the wake of a scathing U.S. Justice Department report released last week finding his force was rife with racial bias.The St. Louis suburb was thrown into turmoil in August by the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman, thrusting it into the center of an intense national debate over law enforcement’s treatment of minorities and use of deadly force.