The outraged community of Ferguson, Missouri, demands answers after a police officer's fatal shooting of a teenager on Saturday.
Witnesses told KMOV that unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot several times by a Ferguson police officer. A spokesman with the St. Louis County Police Department, which is currently investigating the shooting, confirmed to the AP that a Ferguson police officer shot Brown, but did not give the reason for, or any other details surrounding, the shooting. The officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Dorian Johnson, a friend of Brown's, told KMOV that he was with him at the time of the incident:
"He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air. ... He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots."
After the shooting, hundreds of Ferguson residents reportedly took to the street to protest. From CNN:
At the peak of the spontaneous street protest, up to 1,000 people turned up, some very angry, [Police Chief Thomas] Jackson said.
"We had what probably bordered on riot conditions," he said.
Officers heard gunfire at the protests, and it took them hours to secure the scene for county homicide detectives to get evidence safely before removing Brown's body, according to Jackson.
The St. Louis County NAACP is launching their own investigation into the shooting, according to CNN. Local chapter President Esther Haywood released a statement saying:
"We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting. We strongly encourage residents to stay away from the crime scene so that no additional citizens are injured."
Update 12:35 p.m.: Police Department Chief Jon Belmar confirmed at a news conference that all shell casings collected at the scene were from the officer's gun, and that a medical examiner would determine how many times Brown was shot. He notes "it was more than just a couple."
Update 11:39 a.m.: CNN reports that St. Louis County Police Department Chief Jon Belmar said that before being fatally shot, Brown "pushed a police officer back into the car, where he physically assaulted the police officer" and attempted to take his weapon. This account obviously presents a vastly different situation than the multiple witness accounts that reported Brown had his hands in the air during the shooting.
[image via AP]